The Near Real-Time System for Estimating the Seismic Damage in Romania, implemented in 2012 at the National Institute for Earth Physics, is one of the automated systems that can directly contribute to saving many lives right after a major earthquake, by translating earthquake parameters into damage probabilities for different areas within Romanian counties and showing emergency intervention necessities, and can also lead to mitigation actions before an earthquake, through raising awareness and highlighting vulnerable aspects of the building stock and economic and social impacts.

This paper aims to present the scientific background of this constantly upgrading system, and to show different results for relevant scenarios, for intermediate-depth Vrancea earthquakes and other crustal earthquakes. Several important questions are tried to be answered, like: “How credible are the estimated losses?”, “What are the most vulnerable aspects?” or “How can the damage maps be useful for authorities?”.

Currently, the system uses for building loss estimation the analytical methods (as the Improved-Displacement Capacity Method - I-DCM) implemented within the open-source software SELENA (SEismic Loss EstimatioN using a logic tree Approach), together with HAZUS methods for estimating the human casualties. The building stock is defined through 48 different capacity and fragility curves, depending on construction material, height and age. As hazard data, PGA and SA values obtained through the ShakeMap System and based on real recordings and attenuation relations are used. The area currently analyzed by the system consists of 19 Romanian Counties, capital Bucharest and 9 regions in northern Bulgaria; resolution of the data is at administrative unit (commune or city) level. We aim to provide an insight of each part of this system, justify the choices made and also discuss the improvement possibilities.

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Engineering, Introductions and Overviews, other