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Hands-on with the OpenQuake engine at the 4th GEM Annual Risk Workshop


Jul 2, 2018

From November 20th to 22nd, the GEM Foundation hosted the fourth edition of the Risk Workshop. The annual event brings together GEM partners from both the private and public sectors around the world to foster collaboration and knowledge sharing. It provides an opportunity to demonstrate new features and improvements on the OpenQuake suite of tools, as well as the latest developments in the hazard and risk models and datasets.


This year, the workshop had the following specific goals: Explore GEM's risk datasets, models and tools Present GEM’s Risk Modeler’s Toolkit to derive fragility and vulnerability models Prepare exposure and vulnerability models for the OpenQuake-engine using the Input Preparation Toolkit ( Perform seismic risk analysis and scenario loss estimations using the OpenQuake-engine Contribute to GEM’s Global Risk Modeling effort The event featured presentations from the GEM team, and several scenario risk calculations using the OpenQuake engine.


The exercises allowed participants to experiment first hand how the engine works with the GEM Risk Team verifying and checking the results. Participants from ARUP (United Kingdom) demonstrated how some of the GEM tools were employed in the assessment of earthquake risk in Kyrgyzstan as part of a World Bank project. The partners from NSET (Nepal) presented how Nepal is recovering from the 2015 Gorkha earthquake, and preparing other towns for future events by collecting detailed information regarding the built up environment. Aspen Re (Switzerland/UK) shared how GEM tools and models can be used to better understand the drivers of uncertainty in CAT modeling.


Finally, Dr. Christopher Burton from Auburn University (USA) highlighted the need to go beyond the physical risk, and to incorporate the social aspects in the evaluation of earthquake threat. The workshop also had the participation of other experts from ETH, INGV, EUCENTRE, Zurich, CICESE, SCOR, AXA, PartnerRe, OYO, Pacific Disaster Center and NKUA.


On the last day the participants enjoyed a guided tour of the EUCENTRE Foundation laboratories led by Dr. Filippo Dacarro, Lab Director. The tour included a visit to the old and new shake table, inaugurated in September 2017. The outcomes of the training were positive: for instance, Suman Pradhan and Kirty Tiwari from NSET, Nepal, mentioned the importance of the GEM Taxonomy for their work, and complimented the GEM Staff for the success of the event. They committed to returning to Nepal and train their colleagues on how to use OpenQuake. Katherine Coates, from ARUP, affirmed the discussions and presentations were excellent, and appreciated the hands-on practice and the activities offered by GEM.

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