FM Global releases comprehensive global earthquake risk map
- Published: Wednesday, 05 May 2021 08:21
The ever-present risk of earthquakes, which on average causes nearly US$40 billion in direct economic loss every year, is why FM Global has released what it claims is the world’s most comprehensive global earthquake risk map.
Online and interactive, the FM Global Worldwide Earthquake Map is a tool to help business executives improve the resilience of their global supply chains – a bigger priority than ever. At no cost, executives can use the map to plan, site, assess, and manage their global operations.
Most earthquake hazard maps show only the expected ground shaking for a fixed return time. The FM Global Worldwide Earthquake Map differs markedly: it directly incorporates soil effects and building structural performance to map the return times of ground motions that will damage weak buildings. This allows organizations to consistently compare earthquake risk across the globe.
“The majority of global businesses have locations, suppliers, or customers in earthquake zones but lack a complete picture of the risk,” said Brion Callori, senior vice president and manager, engineering and research at FM Global. “To business leaders, the seismology of an earthquake is less salient than the property damage and business disruption that can result. Our clients’ business resilience is the focus of this map.”
The FM Global Worldwide Earthquake Map employs data and seismic hazard models resulting from their longstanding partnership with the Global Earthquake Model (GEM) Foundation, a nonprofit, public-private partnership that drives a global collaborative effort to develop scientific and high-quality resources for transparent assessment of earthquake risk. GEM is widely recognized by science, engineering, government, and insurance organizations as the premier collaborative authority on seismic hazards.
In China, a hazard model jointly developed by FM Global and the China Earthquake Administration is used, and in the United States, a new hazard model by the US Geological Survey is utilized.
The map also incorporates soil data, which helps determine shaking levels at a resolution of one square km or less. In addition, the map integrates refined thresholds for structural vulnerability to account for varying building quality and contents around the world.
The FM Global Worldwide Earthquake Map is a layer in the company’s omnibus Natural Hazards Map, which also displays climate risks such as flood and hail. Regions fall into zones based on the return periods of damaging ground motion: every 50 years, 100 years, 250 years, 500 years and >500 years.