Tsunami Vulnerability Function Lecture at UC Berkeley

There will be a free seminar about Tsunami Vulnerability Functions on Monday, November 5th at 1 pm in the PEER conference room on the 3rd floor of Davis Hall on the UC Berkeley Campus. This presentation will be given by Manabu Masuda from Risk Management Solutions, Inc, and is titled “Tsunami Vulnerability Function Development Earthquake in Japan Paper Based on the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake in Japan.”

Directions to PEER at Davis Hall

Catastrophe risk models have been widely accepted and used by the insurance and reinsurance industries over past decades as a means to quantify and manage risk. However, tsunami risk has not been fully incorporated into most commercially-available catastrophe models because historical records are limited and the modeling is highly complex. The tragic 2011 Tohoku Earthquake destroyed many beautiful cities, towns, and villages, killed more than 19,000 people, devastated regional economies, and impacted the global economy, but it also provided new data that can be used to better understand and quantify the tsunami risk and to prepare for tsunamis in the future. This paper presents a set of tsunami vulnerability functions that are based primarily on observations from the Tohoku earthquake.

Tsunami vulnerability has been studied in Japan by many researchers over the years. The most well-referenced and widely used vulnerability measurement is the one proposed by Shuto (1993), which estimates expected damage versus inundation depth for different building types. Many scenario loss simulations and emergency response manuals published by federal and local governments have used these relationships to estimate potential tsunami losses. After the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami, several fragility studies were published by incorporating numerical tsunami simulation models, damage assessments using remote sensing technology (e.g. Koshimura et al., 2009) and inundation flow velocity (e.g. Iizuka and Matsutomi, 2000 and Matsutomi et al., 2010). However, because of the lack of high-resolution loss information, studies have been limited to the development of fragility curves or vulnerability functions for specific construction classifications, which might not be applicable to buildings in other countries. In this paper, the authors discuss the process of developing a catastrophe model, which includes hazard, vulnerability, exposure, building inventory and loss estimation. The proposed tsunami vulnerability functions are used to examine the potential impacts of several key tsunami scenarios in Japan, including the 2011 Tohoku earthquake on the Japan Trench, as well as Tokai and Tonankai scenario events on the Nankai Trough. The results and proposed vulnerability functions can be used by the insurance industry and by government agencies to manage and mitigate tsunami risk in the future.

Speaker Bio:
Manabu Masuda, P.E., Director, Risk Management Solutions, Inc.

Mr. Masuda has over 10 years of experience in Natural Catastrophe Risk Modeling. He earned his bachelor’s degree (1988) and engineering degree (1990) in Structural Engineering from Kobe University, Japan. He then earned his second master’s degrees (1996) in Civil Engineering from Stanford University. It has been 8 years since he joined RMS, and he has been engaged in multiple risk models including Japan Earthquake, Mexico Earthquake and China Typhoon. Also, he is responsible for site specific risk assessments, Industrial Facility Model and Builders’ Risk Model. Prior to RMS, he worked at ABS Consulting for two years and at Kajima Corporation, Tokyo Japan for ten years as a structural engineer. He is a licensed engineer both in US and Japan.