The aim of this paper is to present earthquake loss estimations for a portion of downtown Ottawa, Canada, using the HAZUS-MH (Hazards United States Multi-Hazard) software tool. The assessment is performed for a scenario earthquake of moment magnitude 6.5, at an epicentral distance of 15 km, occurring during business hours. A level 2 HAZUS-MH analysis was performed where the building inventory, microzonation studies, and site-specific ground motion hazard maps (2% exceedence probability in 50 years) were all improved based on local information. All collected data were assembled into a set of standard geodatabases that are compatible with the HAZUS-MH software using a GIS-specific procedure. The results indicate that the greatest losses are expected in unreinforced masonry buildings and commercial buildings. Sensitivity studies show that soil classes, the vulnerability of schools, and the spatial scale of loss estimations are also important factors to take into account.

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Keywords Casualty assessment, Damage assessment, Eastern Canadian earthquakes, Eastern North American ground motions, HAZUS, Loss estimations
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Journal Natural Hazards
Ploeger, S.K., Atkinson, G.M., & Samson, C. (2010). Applying the HAZUS-MH software tool to assess seismic risk in downtown Ottawa, Canada. Natural Hazards, 53(1), 1–20. doi:10.1007/s11069-009-9408-x