Members of the USAID-supported project – Collaborative Risk Assessment for Volcanoes and Earthquakes or CRAVE from Colombia participated in a 2-day workshop to discuss volcanic threats and risks. The Servicio Geológico Colombiano (SGC) hosted the workshop from May 15-16, 2019.
The workshop was divided into two parts: a morning session focused on earthquake and volcanic hazard and risk in Colombia, where the SGC, the National Unit for Disaster Risk Reduction in Colombia (UNGRD) and the GEM Foundation presented to a general audience the achievements and challenges that the country currently faces. This session was attended by 40 people representing seven governmental institutions (Ministry of Housing, Ministry of Environment, Department of National Planning, National Administrative Department of Statistics, and Instituto Distrital de Gestión de Riesgos y Cambio Climático), and 20 experts from the three main volcanological observatories in Colombia (Manizales, Popayan and Pasto).
The second part of the workshop focused on the technical aspect of volcanic hazard and risk assessment using hazard footprints for four volcanic hazard components: lava flow, lahar, pyroclastic density currents, and ash fall. OpenQuake tools for volcanic risk analysis were used for the Ruiz Volcano pilot case and hazard footprints were discussed for five other volcanoes (Galeras, Puracé, Azufral, Cumbal and Chiles).
For volcanic threats, participants agreed that the hazard products to be developed must be adapted to the needs of risk assessment in order to arrive at a more realistic view of risk. It was also mentioned that more technical discussion is needed for the probabilistic modelling of other volcanic phenomena e.g. ash fall to establish realistic probabilities or rates of occurrence of such phenomena.
The discussion on volcanic risk highlighted the importance of factoring in communication and social risk metrics such as damage to roads and airports and access to clean water, as they can significantly impact the modification/adjustment or formulation of risk management strategies.
In the following week, a similar event took place in Bandung (Indonesia), with support from the Institute of Technology of Bandung (ITB). The event featured a day of presentations and discussion with representatives from the Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation (CVGHM), the Indonesian Ministry of Public Works, the National Disaster Management Agency (Badan Nasional Penanggulangan Bencana - BNPB), the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (Badan Meteorologi, Klimatologi dan Geofisika - BMKG), the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) and the British Geological Survey (BGS). This part of the workshop provided an opportunity to discuss and better understand the current gaps in volcano, earthquake and tsunami hazard and risk assessment in the region and beyond.
On the second day of the event, 40 participants employed OpenQuake for the estimation of economic losses and damage due to earthquake and volcano scenarios. The participants highlighted the need for open tools for risk assessment and to share data concerning exposure and disaster loss to improve or calibrate existing models. Data such as exposure and disaster loss are required for monitoring of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.
CRAVE is funded by USAID to develop a common framework for the assessment of the impact from earthquakes and volcanoes, with the support of experts from the Philippines, Indonesia, Colombia, United Kingdom and Singapore.