Value of Injuries in the Northridge Earthquake Journal Article uri icon

Overview

abstract

  • The economic equivalent value of deaths and injuries in the 1994 Northridge earthquake has not previously been calculated, although number of injuries by category of treatment has. Using dollar-equivalent values for injuries accepted and used by the U.S. government for evaluating the cost-effectiveness of risk-mitigation efforts, the value of injuries in the 1994 Northridge earthquake is estimated to be $1.3 to 2.2 billion in 1994 (90% confidence bounds, equivalent to $1.8 to 2.9 billion in 2005). This is equivalent to 3–4% of the estimated $50 billion (in 1994) estimated direct capital losses and direct business interruption losses. If injuries in the 1994 Northridge earthquake are representative of injuries in future U.S. events, then the economic value of future earthquake injuries—the amount that the U.S. government would deem appropriate to expend to prevent all such injuries—is on the order of $200 million per year (in 2005 constant dollars). Of this figure, 96% is associated with nonfatal injuries, an issue overlooked by current experimental research. Given the apparently high cost of this type of loss, this appears to represent an important gap in the present earthquake research agenda.

publication date

  • May 1, 2006

Full Author List

  • Porter K; Shoaf K; Seligson H

Other Profiles

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 555

end page

  • 563

volume

  • 22

issue

  • 2