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Strengthening Albania's Earthquake Preparedness: A Collaborative Effort


Sep 29, 2023

In a bid to enhance earthquake resilience in Albania, the Global Earthquake Model (GEM) has partnered with the Institute of GeoSciences (IGEO) Albania to revamp the country's seismic hazard map. This project, funded by the Central European Initiative and supported by the Albanian Electricity Corporation, has two objectives.

It aims to modernize Albania's seismic hazard map, a crucial step in updating the nation's building code to meet Eurocode 8 standards. This marks the first significant revision to Albania's building regulations since 1989. A more updated view of seismic hazard will help in promoting more cost-effective earthquake-resistant construction practices.

Alongside improving seismic hazard assessments, the project also has a strong educational component. It's designed to enhance the capacity of IGEO with the knowledge and tools necessary to independently create, update, and refine seismic hazard models. The driving force behind this knowledge transfer is GEM's advanced methodology and software, particularly the OpenQuake Engine. This ensures Albania remains well-prepared to handle future seismic assessments and refine building codes in line with the latest research.

In the first half of 2023, the GEM Hazard Team continued to support IGEO. They facilitated regular communication, offered vital guidance, and hosted two workshops for researchers from the Institute of Geosciences in Tirana. The initial workshop focused on leveraging the workflow package from the model building toolkit (MBTK) to construct seismic source models compatible with OpenQuake. In the second workshop, participants delved into the strong motion tools (SMT) integrated into the MBTK.

These workshops not only served as training grounds but also as opportunities for working collaboratively and developing the model’s components jointly.

IGEO and GEM will continue to work on developing this model for the rest of 2023. The kind support from the Central European Initiative (CEI - and Albanian Electricity Corporation (KESH - is kindly acknowledged. 

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