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What is PAGER?

PAGER stands for the Prompt Assessment of Global Earthquakes for Response. It is an automated system that takes in seismic data from remote sensors in order to rapidly estimate earthquake shaking and the scope and impact of earthquakes around the world. In its previous form, which has been available since 2007, PAGER delivered rapid estimates of the total number of people and settlements exposed to a wide range of shaking from light to catastrophic. Currently, PAGER also provides first-order/factor-of-ten/order of magnitude estimates of potential fatalities, as well as the approximate economic impact the earthquake may cause. Since the PAGER loss estimations are available well in advance of ground-truth observations or news accounts, they can play a primary alerting role for domestic as well as international earthquake disasters.

Neither earthquake magnitude nor macroseismic intensity provides sufficient information to judge the overall impact of an earthquake. While higher magnitude earthquakes have greater energy release and can potentially affect a much larger area, losses depend directly on the exposure and vulnerability of a population to specific levels of shaking. Earthquakes also have highly variable effects on society; the complex and variable nature of the effects for differing events can be attributed to a number of contributing factors, primarily the highly variable nature of the hazard distribution (predominantly, shaking intensity), the population exposure, the vulnerability of the built environment, and the resilience of the communities affected. These factors can now, in part, be rapidly assessed following significant earthquake disasters. This is the essence of the PAGER system.

Tags: Seismology, Liquefaction, Tsunamis, Earthquakes, Faults, Tectonics, Magnitude, Prediction