Society for Earthquake and Civil Engineering Dynamics
Without a proper understanding of the potential human and economic losses for a given region, the development of risk mitigation strategies is likely to be ill-informed and inadequate, and consequently tragic should a damaging seismic event occur. The study presented herein sheds light on several problems and limitations in the current practice of earthquake loss modelling, and provides recommendations depending on the intended final use of the risk analyses. Results using the Metropolitan Area of Lisbon (Portugal) demonstrate that distinct assumptions in the loss modelling may lead to considerably different risk results (often varying by a factor of two), which highlights the need to fully comprehend the implications of following certain modelling approaches. The findings of this study are also relevant for institutions that promote the assessment of earthquake risk in various parts of the world, such as the Global Earthquake Model Foundation.