The Earthquake Commission (EQC) has bolstered its modelling capabilities with the adoption of the RiskScape modelling tool to model damage and losses from earthquakes.
RiskScape, which was jointly developed by GNS Science and NIWA with significant contributions from EQC, will enable EQC to continuously bring its expansive research and insurance data into its risk modelling. This will allow it to create an increasingly comprehensive picture following an event, as well as improve EQC’s ability to model and plan for future disasters.
Prior to its adoption of RiskScape, EQC used the Minerva modelling platform for 20 years.
Aside from earthquakes, the new tool will eventually allow EQC to model losses from other perils such as tsunamis and volcanoes, EQC head of risk modelling Andrea Gluyas said.
“Loss modelling is a critical part of EQC’s role in helping reduce the impact of natural disasters,” Gluyas said. “This new tool will allow us to incorporate the latest science to understand the impact of natural hazards on New Zealand homes, helping us to better plan for future events, as well as providing critical information immediately after an event to help us best prioritise assistance to the most affected communities and scale our response accordingly.”
According to EQC, loss modelling is critical in helping it understand the impact of a disaster by providing realistic estimates of likely damage and loss. Some uses include post-event modelling to provide near-real-time loss estimates and the spread of damage. This allows the insurance and emergency response sector to quickly understand the scale and spread of damage after an event. Modelling potential natural disaster scenarios will help authorities plan how to respond and build community resilience. It also provides international reinsurance partners with an advanced view of hazard risks in New Zealand – a critical part of securing reinsurance – and guides how EQC sets its levy rates.