Predicting population displacements after earthquakes

Rodrigo Costa, Terje Haukaas, & Stephanie Chang

An agent-based object-oriented model for household displacements is presented and used to analyze household decision-making after a hypothetical earthquake in the City of Vancouver, Canada. Temporary displacements and permanent relocation are accounted for. The model for households include considerations of socioeconomic demographics, social networks, and disaster preparedness. The analysis results indicate that nearly 70,000 persons are expected to be displaced by the earthquake. Of those, close to 19,000 will need public sheltering. In addition, nearly 40,000 persons are expected to relocate in the years following the earthquake. Among the displaced persons, occupants of multi-family pre-code and low-code buildings are over-represented. Among those needing public shelter or relocation, there is a disproportionately high number of renters and low income households. The models in this paper can help the development of pre-disaster plans by suggesting optimal location of public shelters, and by identifying decisions that reduce the number of households relocating.

Rodrigo Costa, Terje Haukaas & Stephanie E. Chang (2020) Predicting population displacements after earthquakes, Sustainable and Resilient Infrastructure, DOI: 10.1080/23789689.2020.1746047