Modeling destructive earthquake casualties based on a comparative study for Turkey


NATURAL HAZARDS, vol.72, no.2, pp.1093-1110, 2014 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 72 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2014
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s11069-014-1059-x
  • Journal Name: NATURAL HAZARDS
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.1093-1110
  • Keywords: Casualty rate, Magnitude, Energy release, Beta regression, Semi-parametric regression, Semi-parametric beta regression, BETA REGRESSION, CALIFORNIA, RATES
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


The statistical modeling of destructive earthquakes is an indispensable tool for extracting information for prevention and risk reduction casualties after destructive earthquakes in a seismic region. The linear regression (LR) model can reveal the relation between casualty rate and related covariates based on earthquake catalog. However, if some covariates affect the casualty rate parametrically and some of them nonparametrically, the LR model may entail serious bias and loss of power when estimating or making inference about the effect of parameters. We suggest that semi-parametric beta regression (SBR), semi-parametric additive regression (SAR), and beta regression (BR) models could provide a more suitable description than the LR model to analyze the observed casualties after destructive earthquakes. We support this argument using destructive earthquakes occurred in Turkey between 1900 and 2012 having surface wave magnitudes five or more. The LR, SAR, BR, and SBR models are compared within the context of this data. The data strongly support that the SBR and SAR models can lead to more precise results than the BR and LR models. Furthermore, the SBR is the best model for the earthquake data since the beta distribution provides a flexible model that can be used to analyze the data involving proportions or rates. The results from this model suggest that the casualty rate depends on energy, damaged buildings, and the number of aftershocks of a destructive earthquake.