Earthquake Papers Earthquake Hazard Zones: The relative risk of damage to Canadian buildings Paul Kovacs Executive Director, Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction Adjunct Research Professor, Economics, Univ. of Western Ontario Robert Sweeting Manager, Research, Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction June 2004 ICLR Research Paper Series - No. 39
In 2003, this study was launched to assess the new information about the relative risk of earthquake damage across Canada. As an outcome of this research, Canadian earthquake hazard maps (Hazard Zones) were developed to support the determination of insurance coverage terms and conditions in Canada. Created principally for insurers, Hazard Zones are new in Canada and are based on an analysis of the probability of expected loss from all possible earthquake sources and magnitudes. Postal codes are grouped into Hazard Zones with similar relative levels of expected loss.
This paper presents new information about the relative risk of earthquake damage across Canada. It brings together the most recent information about earthquakes experienced in Canada, soil studies and other data needed to better estimate the risk of future seismic damage. The objective of this research paper is to summarize this information in a format that can be applied readily to insurance practices. This includes a mapping of Hazard Zones which detail the relative risk of seismic damage by postal code. The research covers all regions in Canada and is presented with a special focus on areas of high to moderate risk in British Columbia, Quebec, and Eastern Ontario. Detailed maps are provided for Victoria, Vancouver, Ottawa, Montreal, and Quebec City.
In this research paper, we: - discuss the background to this study
- examine the nature of earthquake risk and the role of insurance in Canada - explain the methodology behind, and approach to, developing Hazard Zones - review issues of implementation and timing - present the new Canadian earthquake Hazard Zones.