A decision-making approach for operational earthquake forecasting

Alireza Azarbakht, Archie John Rudman, John Douglas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
12 Downloads (Pure)


Decision making to mitigate the effects of natural hazards, such as earthquakes, has always been a challenging subject. This is particularly the case in periods of increased seismicity (e.g. in a foreshock or aftershock period of a major earthquake) when the population is anxious and would like advice but when the chance of potentially damaging earthquake ground motions in the coming days remains low. In this study, a decision-making method based on multiple criteria is combined with cost-benefit analyses to create a hybrid decision-making framework to help decide amongst potential loss mitigation actions (or even to take no action). The proposed framework is demonstrated for three hypothetical case studies using Patras (Greece) as an example of a high seismicity location. The results show that the proposed approach is flexible enough to adapt to new problems, end-users and stakeholders. Additionally, it is revealed that reasonable mitigation actions are viable and financially beneficial during periods of increased seismic hazard in order to reduce the potential consequences of earthquakes. Finally, the case studies show that the results can be highly sensitive to the inputs to the framework and hence it is vital to involve end users to help constrain these inputs when making such calculations.
Original languageEnglish
Article number102591
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction
Early online date20 Sept 2021
Publication statusPublished - 31 Dec 2021


  • mitigation action
  • time-dependent seismic hazard
  • earthquake drill
  • warehouse emergency management plan
  • earthquake evacuation


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