In September 2010, the USGS began publicly releasing earthquake alerts for significant earthquakes around the globe based on estimates of potential casualties and economic losses with its Prompt Assessment of Global Earthquakes for Response (PAGER) system. These estimates significantly enhanced the utility of the USGS PAGER system which had been, since 2006, providing estimated population exposures to specific shaking intensities. Quantifying earthquake impacts and communicating estimated losses (and their uncertainties) to the public, the media, humanitarian, and response communities required a new protocol—necessitating the development of an Earthquake Impact Scale—described herein and now deployed with the PAGER system. After two years of PAGER-based impact alerting, we now review operations, hazard calculations, loss models, alerting protocols, and our success rate for recent (2010-2011) events. This review prompts analyses of the strengths, limitations, opportunities, and pressures, allowing clearer definition of future research and development priorities for the PAGER system.
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Impact-based earthquake alerts with the U.S. Geological Survey's PAGER system: what's next?
Geologic Hazards Science Center
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The 15th World Conference on Earthquake Engineering: September 24-28, 2012, Lisbon, Portugal