UCL Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction


Omar Velazquez

  • Supervisor: Dr Carmine Galasso (first) and Dr Gianluca Pescaroli (second)
  • Funding: CONACYT (Mexico), IRDR
  • Email: omar.velazquez.12@ucl.ac.uk

Investigating the cross-disciplinary components of Earthquake Early Warning Systems

Earthquake Early Warnings (EEW) usually involve the early detection of an incoming earthquake, the estimation in real-time of the ground shaking/damage/loss likely to result, and the issuance of an alert to people in the region where the ground shaking is likely to be hazardous. The last decade has seen the rapid development of methodologies for EEW systems that currently can provide typical warning times ranging from a few to tens of seconds, with an upper limit of about 1min. Considering these warning times, this research aims to investigate and address the issues faced in the design of automatic fast-mitigation actions for real-time vulnerability reduction in structural performance of buildings. Specifically, thesee are the applications to be designed:

1. Semi-active control of structures

2. Rapid assessment of respond demands of buildings

The progress of technology and advances in the scientific understanding of engineering and seismology have promoted the rapid development of EEW systems around the world. However, their reliability is often limited as they lack the integration between their technical and social components. This project also aims at filling this gap, with the objective of investigating which measures could be needed to increase the organisational resilience of local community stakeholders and the private sector. This topic is explored by implementing a mixed-method approach on the case study Mexico City (Mexico), that can be considered an area at risk due to the combination of high seismic hazard, structural and social vulnerabilities.