The JTI Foundation partnered WAPMERR for over five years, and supported the development of two important components of its worldwide earthquake alert and damage assessment capabilities.
At the heart of the system is the QLARM database, which contains records of around two million settlements, ranging from the largest cities through to modest villages. Each settlement has a ‘building fragility’ profile, which allows the system to make accurate forecasts for impact on both human life and damage to infrastructure.
We specifically supported the maintenance of QLARM’s alert service, and its ‘scenario calculation’ capability. In addition, we provided funding for database maintenance, and dissemination of the system’s capabilities to a wider audience, through international conferences.
During the year to August 2012, WAPMERR issued 72 real-time earthquake alerts, within an average of 39 minutes from the moment of the event. In the instance of an earthquake that struck Iran in August 2012, WAPMERR predicted fatalities in the range of 100 to 500 individuals – the actual number was reported at 250. Local doctors and international relief agencies were quick to thank WAPMERR for the timeliness and accuracy of the alert, which provided invaluable in delivering appropriate and quick resources to disaster sites.