Global Earthquake Model presents worldwide risk map
Milestone in earthquake risk assessment
Global Earthquake Model (GEM) has published the first-ever digital earthquake risk map that covers every single country in the world exposed to the earthquake risk. The GEM initiative was set up in 2007 by research institutes and the OECD. As founding sponsor, Munich Re was the only company involved in the initiative and remains an important supporter of GEM to this day. Alexander Allmann, earthquake expert and Head of Geo Risks at Munich Re, explains the background to this initiative.
What is Global Earthquake Model (GEM)?
And who will benefit now that it is possible to asses earthquake risks across the world?
How will the people in these countries benefit, and what role does insurance play in all of this?
Here are a few figures from our NatCatSERVICE database: Since 1980, 92% of all fatalities from earthquakes have been in developing countries and the poorer emerging nations (low income and lower-middle income groups). Around 61% of all earthquakes worldwide have occurred in these countries. But over 60% of overall losses from all earthquakes in this period were in industrialised countries and their share of fatalities was only 3.6% – thanks to better loss mitigation measures. In the poorer countries, people are frequently left to fend for themselves with their financial losses, with insured losses in developing countries since 1980 at under 3%.
GEM makes it much easier to plan suitable loss prevention measures, and thus helps to protect people and save lives. Knowing what losses can be expected and what effect loss mitigation measures could have is a first important step in taking effective action. It also makes insurance cover more likely, meaning that disaster victims can recover sooner from the financial shock, in spite of the terrible human suffering they have to endure.