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Update on NYCEM Activities

The New York City-area Consortium for Earthquake-loss Mitigation (NYCEM) project moves into its third and final year, striving to complete a series of regional scenario studies which will produce earthquake loss estimations for the greater New York-New Jersey area. Work at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory will focus on the development of more exact soil classifications for the area, to improve upon existing default soil categorizations within HAZUS. Work at Princeton University will complete HAZUS scenario executions for the area below 59th Street in Manhattan, the entire island of Manhattan and initial attempts for all five boroughs of the city. The latter effort may be somewhat impacted by limitations of the existing building data for the Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn and Staten Island. Loss estimations will also be broadly carried out for the 31-county tri-state region, but will be heavily dependent on the availability of detailed soil and building stock data. A primary emphasis in the final year of the project will be to work with consortium members to encourage contributions of important data sources which are essential to refining final loss estimations.

Additional outreach activities will be planned to extend results of the study to those in practice and the public sector. It is anticipated that one outcome of the project will be a report detailing the methodologies and approaches which have been used in the study, in order to assist other large urban areas in the use of HAZUS and similar loss estimation models. An additional report is planned to describe and rank vulnerabilities of existing critical facilities in Manhattan. Data and reports will be posted to the NYCEM web site as they are developed (see http://www.nycem.org).

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