An earthquake hazard early warning system

Yueqing Zhu
Centre for Analysis and Prediction, SSB, Fuxing Ave. No. 63, P.O. Box 166 Beijing, Zip 100036,
P. R. China.
Tel. : +8610-68213689, Fax: +8610-68218604,
E-mail: zhuyq@sun.ihep.ac.cn

Earthquakes cause very serious disasters to humanity. A general prediction system may give a probable magnitude, location and time window of the coming event. Before an event, people will be much more concerned whether there will be any damage to themselves. So earthquake hazard assessment and loss estimation before and/or after a shock is a basic requirement for disaster mitigation. The author has developed an intelligent system for determination of earthquake intensity distribution, level of damage analyses and loss estimation. It can be run before an upcoming event or just after it in order to get quickly a detailed intensity distribution map, an estimate of the number and distribution of people killed or injured, property losses, etc. These estimates are based on seismic wave attenuation laws, models of loss estimation, geological, topographical, soil, engineering and hydro-geological conditions, structure and types of constructions, population distribution and activity, economical conditions, etc. All the above conditions can be investigated, summarised and stored in a series of databases with designed models before the events. When the system is running, a sequence of early warning information for earthquake protection, preparedness and disaster relief operations can be then obtained step by step. The paper outlines the ideology, methodology and key techniques for developing the system, its structure, features and functions and presents the test results on practical cases of some strong earthquakes, followed by a short discussion.