Causal Loss Analysis

Project Description

Immediately after a hazard impacts a population, there are many important questions raised about the level of impact and the emergency response needs. Immediate response is often required before complete data are available. The causal loss analysis project focuses on creating methodologies to estimate and identify the key indicators and root causes in the immediate impact of a major event in terms of building damage and homelessness/shelter needs based on widely available data. This allows for the quantification of the scale of the disaster for response. 

Historic catastrophic events (geophysical and hydro-meteorological) of the past 40 to 50 years will be analysed to understand the aggravating factors (socio-economic, regional building practices, weather, etc.) that affect the impact of a hazard. Using the parsimonious modelling approach, socio-economic fragility functions as per Daniell (2013) will be calculated and calibrated with a selected database of historic events from CATDAT to develop a standard relationship between the hazard intensity, loss and other regional data that are widely available (e. g. HDI, population density) and the total impact of the event. This project also has synergies with the CEDIM “Earthquake Loss Analysis” project. Such methods were used in quantification of losses post-disaster in the Bohol earthquake and Haiyan typhoon in 2013.

Analysis will be done on individual (and groups of) natural disaster events where data are available at a local scale in order to determine the influence of individual factors on disaster impacts beginning with shelter needs (building damage, homelessness, utilities, etc.). The key indicators then will serve as a proxy for the potential scale and impact of a disaster and the time aspect leading to a potential catastrophe.

It is hoped that the “Causal Loss Analysis” project will identify some of the key indicators required for study in FDA in the Near Real-Time of a disaster. By identifying such indicators, this provides a focus for a holistic view of the shelter needs post-disaster as well as other potential insights on aid, recovery and reconstruction needs.


Daniell, J.E. (2013): The development of socio-economic fragility functions for use in worldwide rapid earthquake loss estimation procedures, PhD Thesis (unpublished), Karlsruhe Institute of Technology.

Daniell, J. E.; Wenzel, F.; Khazai, B. (2012): The normalisation of socio-economic losses from historic worldwide earthquakes from 1900 to 2012, Paper No. 2027. In: Proceedings of the 15th World Conference of Earthquake Engineering, Lisbon, Portugal.

Khazai, B.; Daniell, J. E.; Franchin, P.; Cavalieri, F.; Vangelsten, B. V.; Iervolino, I.; Esposito, S. (2012): A New Approach to Modeling Post-Earthquake Shelter Demand in the Aftermath of Earthquakes: Integrating Social, Paper No. 2015. In : Proceedings of the 15th World Conference of Earthquake Engineering, Lisbon, Portugal.

Khazai, B.; Daniell, J. E.; Kunz-Plapp, T.; Wenzel, F.; Vervaeck, A.; Mühr, B. (2011): Shelter report for the Oct. 23 2011 Eastern Turkey Earthquake. CEDIM Forensic Earthquake Analysis Group. Available online at