WIT Press

The 2006 Yogyakarta Earthquake – A Preliminary Study Of Deaths


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J. M. Nichols


The MW 6.3 Yogyakarta, Java, Indonesia, Earthquake occurred on May 27th 2006 and killed more than 5,000 people and injured more than 36,000 people. The earthquake had a duration of 52 seconds, which is a long duration for the magnitude of the event, and left 600,000 people without shelter. The earthquake occurred near Mt. Merapi, which is an active volcano. The paper’s purpose is to outline the existing knowledge about the earthquake and place this knowledge within the context of recent studies of the statistics of earthquake fatalities. The study of the earthquake deaths and injuries form part of an ongoing investigation into the development of methods to estimate fatalities in given earthquakes, and in particular the upper bounds to the fatalities observed in a special group of rare fatal earthquakes. Keywords: Java earthquake, earthquake fatalities, Maximum earthquake deaths. 1 Introduction An Mw 6.3 earthquake occurred near the city of Yogyakarta (20 km SSW) on the island of Java on May 27, 2006 resulting in than 5782 deaths, and 36,299 injuries [1, 2]. This death toll places the 2006 Yogyakarta earthquake into the group of rare earthquakes in the last two millennia that define the bounds of deaths in such events. These rare events, only seven in the 20th century, are critical to understanding the site factors that affect losses in earthquakes. This paper updates the information available at the end of the 20th century to revise the original mathematical model [3] developed to estimate earthquake deaths for a given magnitude. Shiono [4] completed the seminal study on earthquake fatality rates in 1995 using the 1976 Tangshan earthquake as the basis for the analysis. The 1976


Java earthquake, earthquake fatalities, Maximum earthquake deaths.