Pacific Disaster Center Fostering Disaster Resilient Communities  

Modeling & Visualization


Thank you for generating the HAZUS run and posting the results to the PDC web site within two hours after earthquake origin time. The importance of HAZUS and PDC’s role became very apparent to the State Civil Defense staff during the exercise.

Brian Yanagi, Hawaii State Civil Defense

Informing Decisions Through Hazard and Impact Modeling

To prepare for disasters and estimate potential losses, decision makers must be able to answer questions quickly and accurately. PDC helps disaster managers visualize the hazard characteristics and potential impacts of tropical cyclones, floods, earthquakes, tsunamis, and gas releases.

PDC uses computer-based models to translate complex information into easy to understand representations of hazards and potential disaster impacts. By merging model results with Geographic Information System (GIS) mapping tools, determinations can be made regarding which areas are likely to be affected by a specific hazard, providing decision makers with vital information about populations, infrastructure, and critical facilities in at-risk areas.

PDC in Action

Dam Failure Modeling for International Red Cross in Vietnam 
Dam failure models can assist disaster managers in planning for flood-related events by helping to determine actions to be taken and plans to have in place in order to reduce potential impacts downstream. In May 2012, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) requested PDC to model the potential downstream flood risks to population and infrastructure that could result if a particular dam in Vietnam failed. PDC used DHI MIKE 11 and 21 flood models to estimate the potential downstream flood inundation. The products developed with the model output (e.g. water depth, speed, etc.) assisted disaster managers, planners and other stakeholders to identify areas at risk and to develop an emergency action plan to save lives and property.