Transportation Lifeline Losses in Large Eastern Earthquakes

by C. Rojahn, Applied Technology Council, Redwood City, United States,
C. Scawthorn, Applied Technology Council, Redwood City, United States,
M. Khater, Applied Technology Council, Redwood City, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Lifeline Earthquake Engineering in the Central and Eastern U.S.


In December 1991 Applied Technology Council (ATC) and its subcontractor, EQE Inc., completed a 2-year Federal Emergency Management Agency-sponsored study to assess the seismic vulnerability and impact of disruption of lifeline systems nationwide. Included in the study were 489,892 km of federal and state highways, 144,785 bridges, 270,611 km of railroads, 17,161 civil and general aviation airports, and 2,177 ports. Direct and indirect economic losses for 8 scenario earthquakes were estimated using this inventory information and lifeline vulnerability/restoration functions developed under the project. Combined direct and indirect economic losses resulting from damage to transportation lifelines in four Eastern U.S. scenario earth-quakes were estimated as follows: Cape Ann magnitude-7 event, $2,402 million; Charleston, South Carolina magnitude-7.5 event, $6,953 million; New Madrid magnitude-8 event, $14,094 million; and New Madrid magnitude-7 event, $4,378 million.

Subject Headings: Lifeline systems | Earthquakes | Federal government | Emergency management | Highway bridges | Railroad bridges | Economic factors | Air traffic control | Madrid | Spain | Europe | South Carolina | United States

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