Can Brisbane survive an earthquake?

Earth moves

Brisbane has suffered floods and drought in recent years but can it withstand an earthquake?

According to international disaster modelling experts Drs Bijan Khazai and James Daniell from Germany’s Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, the likelihood of a damaging earthquake striking Brisbane cannot be ignored.

“Australia is not immune to earthquakes. There have been more than 100 damaging earthquakes over the past century,’’ Dr Khazai said. “Most are minor tremors, but the fact remains that a significant earthquake should be considered in disaster planning.”

Dr Khazai and Dr Daniell, from the Institute’s Center for Disaster Management and Risk Reduction Technology, are in Brisbane to present a seminar at Griffith University on how disaster modelling can shape response plans.

They will demonstrate how a Maximum Credible Earthquake event would impact on Brisbane, with a focus on the CBD.

“This includes the extent of structural damage, injuries and deaths, the impact on the economy and infrastructure, evacuation, debris removal and food supplies,’’ Dr Daniell said.

“For disaster managers and communicators it changes planning for such an event from assumptions to evidence-based calculations. The predicted impact can then be matched against current disaster response plans to identify gaps.”

Dr Khazai and Dr Daniell, both of whom work in forensic disaster analysis, draw on one of the world’s largest data-bases on earthquakes and other hazards as part of the predictive modelling process.

Their research has been used by organisations worldwide and they are now collaborating with Griffith’s Dr Hamish McLean from the School of Humanities on best practices in communicating earthquake risks to communities and disaster response agencies.

WHAT: Communicating disasters – how predictive disaster modelling re-shapes disaster response plans, risk communication and community resilience

WHEN: Tuesday May 6, 1.30pm-3pm 

WHERE: Northern Theatres 3, N29, 0.03, Nathan campus

MEDIA: Deborah Marshall 0413 156 601