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GEM2020: Year in Review


Jan 7, 2021

The year 2020 was a milestone year for GEM, because of the significant advances made in capacity development, new projects and partnerships, products released and participation in virtual events, which were accomplished during a difficult period of time due to the ongoing pandemic.


Close to 300 individuals were trained online on seismic hazard and risk analysis using OpenQuake engine software under the USAID-supported  – officially launched in Quito, Ecuador in March. The online training workshops given in Spanish and English versions reached more than 30 countries worldwide.


GEM collaborated with  and the  for various new projects that ranged from developing a new disaster risk transfer facility in Central Asia, to an advanced approach for seismic risk assessment of nuclear power plants; and from building capacity and risk understanding in Georgia to building a public-private partnership to protect public schools from natural hazards in Peru.


Five new partners teamed up with GEM to work in several related but different areas of research and application: innovative disaster resilience - One Concern; enhancement of loss modelling capabilities for better decision making - EdF and AXAXL; utilization of seismic sensors to assess building vulnerability - Safehub; and development of high-performance computing in the field of geophysical hazards - CHeeSe. Four public and private institutions also renewed their respective commitments to support GEM in the years ahead.


Last July, GEM launched its  to reach a wider range of stakeholders. A new  was launched in April and has accumulated more than 2800 downloads of open products as of November.


On October 13th, UN’s IDRR Day, GEM released  giving open access to seismic hazard and risk data to the public. In a special edition released on October 22nd, Earthquake Spectra published  documenting the .


On World Bank’s Understanding Risk Forum 10th year anniversary (December 3rd), GEM launched  aimed at better understanding the various socio-economic factors that can exacerbate the impact of earthquakes. In addition, GEM also released population and building  the METEOR project.


Due to the ongoing pandemic, Vitor put together an  to show areas where a damaging earthquake could cause increases in COVID-19 cases due to displacement of people from damaged buildings or where health care systems may be further stressed due to human injuries.


GEM also contributed to two major publications: two case studies on risk analytics and seismic hazard assessment for the , and the  co-published by UNDRR and the International Science Council.


This year also marked the . About 250 people participated in a special GEM webinar marking the celebration. GEM also released three OpenQuake engine software updates, adding various features to enhance performance and capability to analyze multi-perils.

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