Global Earthquake Safety Initiative (GESI) Pilot Project

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GeoHazards International, United Nations Centre for Regional Development

This report summarizes the GESI Pilot Project. Chapter 1 describes the problem this project addresses. It documents the increase of earthquake risk in developing countries over the past century, and proposes that the persistence of this risk is due to low awareness of the risk and of affordable means to manage it. Chapter 2 describes a method that GHI developed over the last two years to assess community earthquake safety. This method is designed to raise awareness of the world's rapidly increasing urban earthquake risk and to identify the most effective ways to manage it. It measures the risk of life loss due to earthquakes, identifies its sources, evaluates the various means to manage it, and allows a comparison of the risk of communities with similar economies, governments, or cultures. Chapter 3 summarizes the joint work of GHI and the UN Centre for Regional Development (UNCRD) to apply this method to twenty-one cities around the world, and to evaluate this method—to determine if it is defensible, useful and understandable, and if its application has the potential to improve earthquake risk management worldwide. This chapter lists the cities that participated. It discusses the data collection process and the results obtained. Finally, it describes how the results were evaluated. Chapter 4 presents our conclusions.