Earthquakes and Sustainable Infrastructure - Chapter 4: Disaster prediction and civil preparedness

Elsevier, Earthquakes and Sustainable Infrastructure, Neodeterministic (NDSHA) Approach Guarantees Prevention Rather Than Cure, 2022, Pages 77-95
Efraim Laor and Benedetto De Vivo

Timely prevention, preparedness, mitigation, and response measures are principal to determine whether an emerging natural phenomenon triggering technological disasters (NaTech) develops into a bearable experience of an incident or a catastrophic large-scale sudden disaster (LSSD). At present, there is no warning before earthquake onset, but early warning available in a few seconds after the determination of earthquake parameters that has happened. Effective prediction time, Tp, larger than a few seconds based on viable prediction would trigger a process, based on preplanned mechanisms to significantly extract and boost operational capabilities, resulting in saving lives and reducing damage to peoples’ health. A research group established in the 1960s by Prof. Keilis-Borok challenges the empiric lack of exact prediction by alternative empiric pattern recognition algorithms that had predicted a number of strong earthquakes worldwide years in advance of their occurrence in terms of specifying Time-Space-Magnitude window, TSM. Such operationally meaningful information might be elaborated and transformed by proactive governments to windows of opportunity saving many lives and lessen damage to infrastructure. The progress, so far, is slow and careful, yet. The turning point has been the implementation of the neo-deterministic seismic hazard assessment (NDSHA) approach to other hazards in favor of prevention, mitigation, and preparedness rather than “cure” after a disaster. The NDSHA approach is promising, heralds hope for the emergency management community, for leaders and the public. This means nothing less than a revolution!