Journal cover Journal topic
Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
doi:10.5194/nhess-2017-69
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
13 Mar 2017
Review status
This discussion paper is under review for the journal Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences (NHESS).
Assessing the impact of Syrian refugees on earthquake casualty estimations in southeast Turkey
Bradley Wilson and Thomas Paradise Department of Geosciences, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, Arkansas
Abstract. The influx of millions of Syrian refugees into Turkey has rapidly changed the population distribution along the Dead Sea Rift and East Anatolian fault zones. In contrast to other countries in the Middle East where refugees are accommodated in camp environments, the majority of displaced individuals in Turkey are integrated into local cities, towns, and villages – placing stress on urban settings and increasing potential exposure to strong earthquake shaking. Yet, displaced populations are often unaccounted for in the census based population models used in earthquake casualty estimations. Accordingly, this study constructs a refugee inclusive gridded population model and analyzes its impact on semi-empirical casualty estimations across southeast Turkey. Daytime and nighttime fatality estimates were calculated for five geographically distributed fault zones at earthquake magnitudes 5.8, 6.4, and 7.0. Total casualty estimates ranged from 28–7723 individuals, with the contribution of refugees varying from 1 %–26 % of total estimated casualties. On average, these percentages correspond to casualty underestimations of tens to hundreds of individuals. These findings communicate the necessity of incorporating refugee statistics into earthquake risk analyses in southeast Turkey and the ongoing importance of placing environmental hazards in their appropriate regional and temporal context.

Citation: Wilson, B. and Paradise, T.: Assessing the impact of Syrian refugees on earthquake casualty estimations in southeast Turkey, Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci. Discuss., doi:10.5194/nhess-2017-69, in review, 2017.
Bradley Wilson and Thomas Paradise
Bradley Wilson and Thomas Paradise
Bradley Wilson and Thomas Paradise

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Short summary
Refugee populations are often unaccounted for in population models used in earthquake casualty estimations. This paper calculates and compares casualty estimations produced with and without refugee populations in southeastern Turkey, a region with 1.4 million Syrian refugees. Resulting fatalities range from 28–7723 individuals with average refugee contributions of tens to hundreds of individuals. These findings show the importance of including refugee statistics in earthquake casualty estimates.
Refugee populations are often unaccounted for in population models used in earthquake casualty...
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