Learning from Earthquakes: Building Resilient Communities Through Earthquake Reconnaissance, Response and Recovery

Lead Research Organisation: University College London
Department Name: Civil Environmental and Geomatic Eng

Abstract

Earthquake reconnaissance plays an invaluable role in earthquake engineering, as it enables the collection of perishable data on building performance that are otherwise unobtainable. Such data can be used to prepare damage statistics, calibrate and validate engineering models and crucially, to decide what design and/or construction deficiencies lead to inadequate structural performance. This research goes beyond the immediate needs of engineers as it can provide the evidence base for the development of new disaster risk reduction policies and mitigation practices worldwide.
In the UK, earthquake field investigations have been conducted by EEFIT since 1982, reporting on the damage observed and inspiring research into building standards for earthquake resistant design and assessment. This research will use the experience gained in EP/I01778X/1 to continue and expand important work in reducing and eventually eradicating the risk of significant death, damage to the economy, and social upheaval resulting from earthquakes. This grant will enable UK based academics to continue to participate in earthquake field investigations conducted by EEFIT and to improve coordination with international equivalents in the USA, Australia and New Zealand, and Europe. grow UK earthquake risk reduction activities, improve the dissemination of EEFIT Mission findings and further increase their impact. Not only will this research continue to collect valuable information in the aftermath of a disaster, but it will also develop new methods of collecting and interpreting this data as well and further develop standard international disaster data collection protocols. This data will be housed in a unique future proof repository that will allow researchers and other stakeholders to easily access and use the information This is important as not only will it enable the UK to stay at the forefront of earthquake engineering research, but it will assist donor countries and other organizations to more accurately access the severity of the disaster and therefore to better target the correct amount of resource for relief and rebuilding efforts.
 
Description To date we have identified the needs of users for field reconnaissance data storage and display, which have been incorporated into the bespoke Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI) and we are in the process of designing and testing with new field data.

In the case of the 28 September 2018 Sulawesi earthquake and tsunami, we have conducted a reconnaissance mission that has provided data for an improved understanding of the earthquake, tsunami and landslides hazard characteristics of the event. This event provides an exemplar of multi-hazard impact on a community and is the current subject of study by the reconnaissance team. A particular finding is the relationship between the observed massive landslides and the presence of a man-made irrigation channel, that saturated the ground making it more susceptible to landsliding. We have also collected data that is helping us to understand the impact of these hazards on local school infrastructure and on coastal buildings. This has so far resulted in an EEFIT Report and conference papers. The collaborations with Indonesian academic institutions (Tadulako University and Syah Kuala University) have also led to an ESRC GCRF Equitable Resilience proposal n Schools as resilience hubs (PI H. Joffe, Co-I T.Rossetto at UCL) that has been funded .

An App has been designed for the collection of building damage data following earthquake events. This App is being made compatible with the SDI to allow for automatic download of data during missions if internet connection is available, and storage with subsequent download to the SDI if internet is not available in the field. The App is able to capture on a mobile device the important characteristics of buildings, their level of damage and location, as well as link to this information photos taken from the field.

A field mission was conducted after the Albania 2019 earthquake, which has provided information mainly on the damage and response of buildings to earthquakes. The field mission also was used to do the first testing of the damage data collection App.

Tha App and SDI have been subsequently further developed, and were deployed in earthquake reconnaissance remote missions to the 2020 Zagreb, Croatia earthquake and 2020 Aegean earthquake and tsunami. The App and SDI now incorporate tsunami as well as earthquakes and have been proven to be robust, useable tools.

Due to COVID travel restrictions, we deployed remote earthquake missions for the first time. It was found that social media data was of limited use for these missions, and that a hybrid approach of desk studies, interviews and collaboration with local partners for damage data collection, was the most efficient way to run these missions. Remote missions were also found to be an excellent way of involving more people in missions.

Although remote reconnaissance missions have been found to be very useful, it was also found that remote missions are not a substitute for physical missions. Mission protocols are being looked at to alter how future missions are conducted, with the suggestion of having a UK based large support team conducting research on disaster effects (simulating the remote missions) which support a team in the field..
Exploitation Route The SDI that is being developed to hold the earthquake reconnaissance data has been used in recent earthquake missions and will be a portal for the dissemination and download of reconnaissance data for future missions. Handover to EEFIT and long term maintenance is being discussed.

The App for damage data collection that has been developed will be an integral tool for use by EEFIT in future earthquake reconnaissance missions and directly feeds into the SDI. The App has been deployed in three earthquake missions already.

The observations made during the 2018 Sulawesi earthquake and tsunami event and 2019 Albania earthquake will inform future research studies in the fields of earthquake engineering, tsunami engineering and geotechnical earthquake engineering. Furthermore, observations on the built environment performance will feed into current risk models developed by insurers and civil engineering companies.

Observations made in the 2020 Zageb, Croatia and Aegean earthquake remote missions, will inform how we conduct future earthquake missions, and will influence EEFIT mission protocols.
Sectors Communities and Social Services/Policy,Construction,Education,Environment,Financial Services, and Management Consultancy

 
Description In addition to the impacts reported for EP/P025641/1, the project is working on the development of an Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI) for the storage and display of field reconnaissance data of different types. A thorough review of past data captured during field missions has been conducted. A survey has also been concluded, where past participants in EEFIT missions have expressed their aspirations and needs for the SDI. This information has been used in order to design the SDI structure and capabilities. The SDI prototype has been developed and is being tested on data collected during the recent 2018 Sulawesi earthquake and tsunami and 2019 Albania earthquake econnaissance missions. An App has also been designed and built for the systematic capture of building damage data following earthquakes. This App has been deployed in the 2019 Albania earthquake, 2020 Zagreb Earthquake and 2020 Aegean Earthquake and Tsunami missions and feeds into the SDI. This tool, once it has gone through further testing, will become the main tool for damage data collection by EEFIT and be made available also to other reconnaissance teams worldwide. An immediacy reconnaissance mission has been launched to Indonesia following the 28 September 2018 earthquake and tsunami. An EEFIT Team led by Prof. Tiziana Rossetto deployed to Indonesia in November 2018. The EEFIT Team conducted the field reconnaissance in partnership with the Tsunami and Disaster Management research Centre, Banda Aceh. Whilst in the field the EEFIT Team engaged with the Shelter Cluster (led by International Federation of Red Cross), providing some basic hazards advice relating to where to put camps. The team conducted a meeting with Ministry of Public Works to discuss with them the link between their irrigation channel and the triggering of landslides seen in Palu. EEFIT also focussed on school assessments and general building damage observations, communicating these to Save the Children who are undertaking school rebuilding assistance. Observations from this mission have already been presented to the engineering community in the UK, through a talk organised by the Institution of Structural Engineers and held at the auditorium of the Willis Towers Watson Building in London on 17th December 2018. The observations have also been disseminated to the international academic community through presentation at a special session at the American Geophysical Union Conference, at the 2019 SECED Conference and will be presented at the 17th World Conference in Earthquake Engineering. The observations and related research have been published as an EEFIT Report, which is available for free download. The Mission also released a Vlog that had a very strong folowing and material from that vlog has been used in teaching materials at Edinburgh University and UCL. An immediacy reconnaissance mission has been launched to Albania following the 26th November 2019 earthquake. The EEFIT Team gathered information on the response of the built environment to the earthquake and the observations are being writtin into an EEFIT Report. The observations were also presented at the Institution of Structural Engineers. A training session in earthquake reconnaissance was delivered on the 27th February 2020 at the Institution of Structural Engineers (IstructE). 16 people participated in the training, with a mix of participants from academia and industry. The training obtained strong positive feedback from participants. A special session was held for EEFIT and the grant findings dissemination at the SECED2019 International Conference 9-10 September 2019 in London, UK. A special issue of the Frontiers Journal on "Earthquake Reconnaissance - Building the Risk and Resilience Evidence Base" has been issued that was edited by Dr Sean Wilkinson (Newcastle University) and Prof. Tiziana Rossetto (UCL) as part of the activities of the grant. Two remote earthquake missions have been conducted to produce reports on the 2020 Zagreb and Aegean earthquakes. These were the first such missions and provided a perfect training ground for new researchers and industry participants in earthquake field missions. They also acted as proofing grounds for the App and SDI, as these were successfully used.
First Year Of Impact 2020
Sector Communities and Social Services/Policy,Construction,Education,Other
Impact Types Societal

 
Title Building earthquake damage data collection App 
Description An App has been created for the collection of building earthquake damage data in post-disaster field reconnaissance missions. The App has been tested in the 2019 Albania Earthquake. 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Year Produced 2019 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact The App has been used during the field reconnaissance launched after the 2019 Albania Earthquake. The App will become the main data collection tool for future EEFIT missions. 
 
Title EEFIT - Learning from Earthquake pilot questionnaire 
Description A pilot online questionnaire was designed and published by the team's RA Enrica Verrucci to elicit opinions from randomly selected EEFIT members on what is required from a spatial data infrastructure (SDI). The platform is intended to permit better management and sharing of the data collected by EEFIT. The survey asks the responders to evaluate how data is currently being acquired and used before, during and after field missions, and their views on how a framework of geographic data, metadata, and tools can be interactively connected and used to make future earthquake field missions more effective. 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Year Produced 2018 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact The emails explaining the project and the survey was sent out by Allan Brereton, the EEFIT Secretary/Treasurer and helped advertised the ambitions of the EPSRC-funded project to members of IStructE and EEFIT. The results of this survey will be directly used to develop the SDI, which is central to the project. 
URL http://opinio.ucl.ac.uk/s?s=53298
 
Title Spatial Digital Infrastructure (SDI) for EEFIT Reconnaissance Data 
Description The SDI is being developed and tested that will hold a variety of data collected in reconnaissance missions post-disaster, and make these available to others. This has not been fully tested and released yet. 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Year Produced 2020 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact No impact yet 
 
Description Collaboration with Tadulako University, Indonesia 
Organisation Tadulako University
Country Indonesia 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Collaborative field mission to Palu, Indonesia
Collaborator Contribution Assisting with field data collection
Impact The help given in the field to the EEFIT team has helped develop the EEFIT Report on 2018 Palu earthquake and tsunami
Start Year 2018
 
Description Joint reconnaissance mission with the Tsunami and Disaster Management Research Centre, Banda Aceh, Indonesia 
Organisation Syiah Kuala University
Country Indonesia 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Joint reconnaissance mission organisation for the 28 September 2018 Sulawesi Earthquake.
Collaborator Contribution Helped organise the mission logistics, and participated in conducting the mission with 4 members from TDMRC joining the team.
Impact A reconnaissance report is being written jointly with the TDMRC team. We have also presented at the American Geophysical Union Conference in Washington in December 2018. A presentation of the mission observations was made at WillisTowersWatson on 17th December 2018. We have also had an abstract accepted to the SECED2019 Conference, to take place on the 9-10 September 2019 in London. The collaboration involved earthquake engineeris, coastal morphologists, coastal engineers, geotechnical engineers, structural engineers, and a psychologist
Start Year 2018
 
Description LfE Zagreb Earthquake Remote Reconnaissance Mission Field Damage Surveys 
Organisation University of Zagreb
Country Croatia 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution University of Cambridge led the LfE team in conducting a remote reconnaissance mission after the March 2020 Zagreb earthquake.
Collaborator Contribution Professor Josip Atalic and Professor Marta Ĺ avor Novak from the Faculty of Civil Engineering supported master students Helena Majetic and Anamarija Babic in the planning, remote learning and implementation of damage surveys through the LfE damage app in the field from 18/05/2020 - 22/05/2020.
Impact Online blog and report, and joint EEFIT and SECED presentation to an international online audience on the 27th January 2021.
Start Year 2020
 
Title LfE earthquake and tsunami building damage assessment App 
Description The App has been developed within the LfE project by the UCL team. The aim of the App is to collect information on building damage due to earthquake and tsunami actions, and is used in collecting important data during post-disaster reconnaissance missions. The App has now been used in three disaster events. It has been developed and refined over the term of the project. The App speaks directly to the developed Spatial Digital Infrastructure (SDI) also developed in the project, which stores the data collected. 
Type Of Technology Webtool/Application 
Year Produced 2019 
Impact The App has been used in three post-disaster reconnaissances. 
 
Title LfE-SDI 
Description The SDI is a searcheable database that captures and stires information on building damage due to earthquakes and tsunami. The SDI is a flexible database that can accept numerous types of data, from photographs, text, videos, voice recordings etc. It maintains the geocoding of the data and allows a user to search and display the data geographically. The SDI seamlessly interfaces with the LfE App. 
Type Of Technology Webtool/Application 
Year Produced 2019 
Impact The SDI has been used to store and organise data from 4 past earthquake missions by EEFIT and the LfE Team. It is being populated with further data,. 
 
Description Blog for the 2020 Aegean EEFIT Mission 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The blog documented the day to day activities of the EEFIT Team conducting the 2020 Aegean Earthquake and Tsunami reconnaissance mission.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://eefitaegean.wordpress.com/
 
Description Blog for the Zagreb (Croatia) EEFIT Mission 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The blog documented the first ever remote earthquake mission conducted by EEFIT under the auspices of the Learning From Earthquakes Project. All participants were from the Research Team on the project, from across UCL, Newcastle University and Cambridge University. The Blog created greater interest in earthquake mission activities,and created a wide interest in remote earthquake reconnaissance missions, paving the way for the remote earthquake mission conducted after the 2020 Aegean earthquake and tsunami.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://lfemissiontozagreb.wordpress.com/
 
Description EEFIT Mission Training session 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The half day workshop was organised jointly by EEFIT and the LFE project team to provide basic training for Team Leaders and Team Members to operate in post disaster field environments; to provide guidance on considerations for organising missions including roles and responsibilities; to provide guidance on Health and Safety procedures and related requirements before, during and after missions; to provide guidance on data collection in the field (where this particular grant fit in); and to provide guidance on expected EEFIT outputs including reporting formats and timelines for output delivery.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://research.ncl.ac.uk/learningfromearthquakes/newsevents/eefitmissiontrainingsession.html
 
Description EEFIT-TDMRC Presentation of the 2018 Sulawesi earthquake and Tsunami Reconnaissance Mission Observations 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact A presentation of the observations made from the 2018 Sulawesi Earthquake and Tsunami was delivered at WillisTowersWatson building in London on the 17th December 2018. The presentation provided an overview of the impact of the natural hazard events on the local environment, people and infrastructure. Important observations were made on the nature of the landslides that occurred as a result of the earthquake - linking these to the presence of an irrigation channel. The talk sparked significant interest from the academic and professional community, and from Save The Children.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Engagement with Shelter Cluster in Palu, Indonesia 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Third sector organisations
Results and Impact The EEFIT team explained the field situation to people in the Shelter Cluster in Palu, who are responsible for the coordination or emergency shelters. They requested clarification of some of the observed hazard and information that had been relayed to them. EEFIT were able to explain in non-technical language their observations and wrote an e-mail with advice on the placement of future shelters, listing areas they thought were unsafe. E.g.

§ Areas West of Irrigation Channel

§ Avoid direct coastline (because ground had lowered)

§ Bottom of steep cuttings
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description ICE Lecture on EEFIT mission: 2020 Zagreb, Croatia, Earthquake 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact This lecture summarised the work of the EEFIT mission to the Zagreb, Croatia earthquake. The earthquake reconnaissance was conducted remotely, due to COVID restrictions. The presentation demonstrated the tools and methods used to conduct the remote mission with discussion of their advantages and disadvantages. The lecture was delivered to engineers and general public, through online means, and was hosted by the Institution of Civil Engineers.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
URL https://www.ice.org.uk/eventarchive/the-zagreb-earthquake-of-march-2020-webinar
 
Description IStructE Lecture on EEFIT mission: 2020 Aegean earthquake and tsunami 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact This lecture summarised the work of the EEFIT mission to the Aegean earthquake. The seismic event, which hit the Turkish and Greek coastline on 30 October 2020, also caused a tsunami. The mission brought together field and remote mission strategies. It explored ways to maximise efficacy in data collection to capture the event characteristics and response due to both hazards. The lecture was deliverd to engineers and general public, through online means, and was hosted by the Institution of Structural Engineers.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://www.istructe.org/resources/case-study/2020-eefit-aegean-earthquake-mission/
 
Description LfE Website 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The LfE website promotes the project and the related outputs and work. It has increased interest in earthquake reconnaissance,
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://research.ncl.ac.uk/learningfromearthquakes/
 
Description Presentation at the American Geophysical Union 2018 Conference Special Session on the Sulawesi Tsunami 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact A presentation of the findings of the EEFIT reconnaissance mission to Sulawesi earthquake and tsunami were presented at the special session at the American Geophysical Union Conference in December 2018. The presentation added to discussions on the uncertainty of the origin of the tsunami.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Public Survey of disaster response after the 2020 Aegean Earthquake and Tsunami 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact A public survey in Greek and Turkish and distributed through local newspapers and social media networks. Within 72 hours, 270 and 860 respondents completed the surveys in Samos and the Izmir region, respectively. The surveys address the following: perceptions and behaviour towards seismic and tsunami risk; actual response to the events; capacity to respond; impact and sustained losses.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
 
Description Thematic Talk by Prof. Tiziana Rossetto at the ICONHIC2019 Conference including observations from the 2018 Sulawesi tsunami 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Thematic Talk by Prof. Tiziana Rossetto at the ICONHIC2019 Conference in Crete, Greece in June 2019. The Thematic talk is on tsunami engineering from numerical analysis to the field, and includes observations from the 2018 Sulawesi Tsunami. These observations were collected during the field reconnaissance mission in November 2018.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://iconhic.com/2019/speaker/prof-tiziana-rossetto/
 
Description Training in damage assessment App and SDI preceding 2020 Aegean earthquake and tsunami remote mission 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact This was a training session delivered to Msc and PhD students of the Middle East Technical University (Turkey), where they were trained to use the earthquake and tsunami building damage assessment App and SDI uploader. The students used the App to collect information on building damage on the ground in Samos (Greece) and Izmir (Turkey) and uploaded the information to the project SDI (database of digital information). We could not deploy due to COVID restrictions, and hence conducted the reconnaissance mission remotely through training local students in the use of our tools.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
 
Description Training in damage assessment App and SDI preceding Croatian earthquake remote mission 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact This was a training session delivered to Msc students of the University of Zagreb, where they were trained to use the earthquake building damage assessment App and SDI uploader. The students used the App to collect information on bulding damage on the ground in Zagreb and uploaded the information to the project SDI (database of digital information). We could not deploy due to COVID restrictions, and hence conducted the reconnaissance mission remotely through training local students in the use of our tools.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
 
Description Training on EEFIT Mobile App delivered EEFIT MEMBERS prior to deployment to the Albania Mission 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Prior to the deployment to the Albania MIssion, 5 EEFIT Members received training and support while on site on the use of the mobile app.
These members were all with a civil engineering/structural engineering background. Some coming from Academia (UCL, IUSS) and some from industry (ARUP, MottMacdonald)
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Training on EEFIT Mobile App delivered to MSc students of the EEDM course prior to annual field trip deployment 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Training Session to MSc students of the Earthquake Engineering with Disaster Management Course at UCL, delivered prior to deployment to the annual field trip to Central Italy.
The experiment aimed at understanding the importance of delivering training and to observe the quality of the data recorded by the students and how clear is the rationale of the mobile app itself.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Video Blog of the 2018 Sulawesi Earthquake and Tsunami Reconnaissance Mission 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact A video blog was created whilst in the field during the 2018 Sulawesi earthquake and tsunami reconnaissance mission. The vlog was followed by many, and information in the vlog was used as part of the teaching material in an undergraduate module in Earth Sciences at Edinburgh University, as an example of multi-hazards situation.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://eefit-indonesia.com/