Southeastern Section - 62nd Annual Meeting (20-21 March 2013)

Paper No. 4
Presentation Time: 8:00 AM-5:30 PM


RAMÍREZ, Arlenys, Puerto Rico Seismic Network, University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez, Mayaguez, PR 00680, HUÉRFANO, Victor, Puerto Rico Seismic Network, University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez, Call Box 9000, Mayagüez, PR 00680 and LOPEZ, Alberto Manuel, Department of Geology, University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez, Call Box 9000, Mayaguez, PR 00681,

The island of Puerto Rico is located in a high seismicity zone, and as a result earthquakes are a potential threat for the island. In the past several damaging earthquakes have affected Puerto Rico, with the most recent event occurred in 1918. This factor, along with high densely populated areas of poor constructed structures, could lead to a tragic scenario. Since the seismic events cannot be avoided, earthquake loss estimations are needed in order to identify possible future impacts, minimize existing hazards and improve safety. Although predicting the time, place, and magnitude of earthquakes is not possible, their potential to do damage and loss can be. We propose to apply the Hazus earthquake model to study the impact of damaging historical and future earthquakes. The impact of the earthquakes is studied for two highly populated areas of Puerto Rico: San Juan, and Mayagüez. The Hazus earthquake model is standardized methodology composed of six modules. It provides direct and indirect loss estimates of damage and loss to buildings, essential facilities, transportation and utility lifelines, and population based on scenario or probabilistic earthquakes. We believe that the results of this investigation are of great practical interest and will find their application in the natural hazard and disasters loss estimations.