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New earthquake assessments available to strengthen preparedness in Europe


Apr 27, 2022

During the 20th century, earthquakes in Europe accounted for more than 200,000 deaths and over 250 billion Euros in losses. Comprehensive earthquake hazard and risk assessments are crucial to reducing the effects of catastrophic earthquakes. The newly released update of the earthquake hazard model and the first earthquake risk model for Europe are the basis for establishing mitigation measures and making communities more resilient. They significantly improve the understanding of where strong shaking is most likely to occur and what effects future earthquakes in Europe will have. The development of these models was a joint effort of seismologists, geologists, and engineers across Europe with the support of members from The Global Earthquake Model (GEM) Foundation. The research has been funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.


A core team of researchers from different institutions across Europe, including the Global Earthquake Model (GEM) Foundation, worked collaboratively to develop the first openly available Seismic Risk Model for Europe and to update Europe’s Seismic Hazard Model. They have been part of an effort that started several years ago and involved thousands of people from all over Europe. These efforts have been funded by several European projects and supported by national groups over all these years.


Under the SERA project (Seismology and Earthquake Engineering Research Infrastructure Alliance for Europe) GEM worked with universities and research institutions from Italy, Portugal, Greece, Switzerland, France and Turkey, in the development of exposure, vulnerability and fragility models. GEM’s OpenQuake Engine was used to run risk calculations for a number of risk metrics across Europe such as average annualised losses, probable maximum losses and risk maps, contributing to the overall process of seismic risk assessment for Europe.

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