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FORCE Progress Update: Forecasting and Communicating Earthquake Hazard and Risk


Sep 29, 2023

The Forecasting and Communicating Earthquake Hazard and Risk (FORCE) project, supported by USAID and implemented by the Global Earthquake Model (GEM) Foundation, continues to make significant headway in its mission to enhance seismic risk understanding.

One critical component of this project involves predicting urban growth and population evolution. This involves analysing more than 20 potential drivers of urban development over several decades. These encompass factors such as demographic trends, economic metrics, and land-use patterns. The FORCE team is actively developing urban growth models utilising techniques like regression analysis and machine learning. Currently, these models are undergoing meticulous evaluation to ensure their ability to replicate observed increases in dwelling numbers and construction areas.

As these models grow in accuracy, they will be instrumental in forecasting housing and construction trends up to the year 2050. This forward-looking approach is pivotal not only for anticipating seismic risks but also for shaping long-term risk mitigation strategies.

Simultaneously, FORCE is partnering closely with country-specific groups in Nepal, El Salvador, and Bhutan to refine the required input models, such as exposure and vulnerability, which serve as foundational references for estimating seismic risks and are being fortified with local data and insights. The recent earthquake scenarios in these countries provide essential benchmarks for seismic risk assessments.

In another project component, FORCE has introduced customized training sessions on earthquake hazard and risk assessment using the OpenQuake training platform. The response has been overwhelming, with 108 registrations from 33 countries for the 2023 spring course. These efforts focus on engaging participants from seismic-prone regions, especially in Asia and Oceania, underlining the project's commitment to bolstering global seismic resilience.

In line with this, the GEM team will be in El Salvador from November 4-11. Collaborating closely with key partners, including the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (MARN) and the University of El Salvador, we will engage in crucial meetings and workshops.

The FORCE project is a testament to GEM's dedication to advancing earthquake risk assessment and preparedness worldwide. Each milestone achieved brings us closer to a safer, more resilient world in the face of seismic challenges.

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