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EERI YMC Webinar: Training and Communication for Earthquake Risk Assessment (TREQ) Project and Applications for Urban Risk Assessment


Jun 28, 2023

GEM scientists and partners involved in the USAID-supported Training and Communication for Earthquake Risk Assessment (TREQ) project recently presented the project results at a webinar organized by the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI) on June 7th. TREQ was piloted in the cities of Quito (Ecuador), Cali (Colombia), and Santiago de los Caballeros (Dominican Republic) from 2020-2022.

TREQ developed state-of-art models for each city in close collaboration with local stakeholders, backed by several technical reports. City profiles have also been prepared for emergency planning activities including multiple earthquake scenarios. For the Dominican Republic, a national seismic hazard model was developed in collaboration with the Servicio Geológico Nacional (SGN) and local scientists.

Several presentations from GEM highlighted the significant advancements in earthquake risk assessment and urban planning. Catalina Yepes-Estrada provided an overview of TREQ, covering topics such as hazard models, earthquake-induced liquefaction and landslides, urban risk models, and earthquake hazard scenarios. She emphasized the project's training and capacity building activities targeting different groups, with online workshops and collaboration with Latin American university professors.

Kendra Johnson focused on developing a Probabilistic Seismic Hazard Analysis (PSHA) model for the Dominican Republic. The model was built in collaboration with local agencies, incorporating up-to-date data from the Servicio Geológico Nacional (SGN) and the Universidad Autónoma de Santo Domingo (UASD). The model as well as the report are open and can be accessed at

Alejandro Calderon presented urban risk modeling in Quito, Cali, and Santiago de los Caballeros. The modeling process involved various data sources, including cadaster, housing census, and expert opinion. Fragility and vulnerability models were used to estimate structural damage, injuries, fatalities, and economic losses. Local fragility models were developed to address the unique construction characteristics of each city and comprehensive city risk profiles and scenarios were presented. The scenarios were done in collaboration with the USGS.

Overall, the GEM presentations on the TREQ project and its applications showcased the importance of incorporating local data, capacity building, and collaboration for effective earthquake risk assessment and urban planning. Future webinars are being planned to provide more detailed insights into the activities of each city.

The webinar, moderated by Prajakta Jadhav from the University of British Columbia, also featured speakers such as Robin Gee from PartnerRe (a former GEM team member who presented how to account for site-specific soil models in the OpenQuake engine, essential for urban-risk assessment), Kishor Jaiswal and Robert Chase from USGS.

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