GEM-CCARA Project trains participants from Central America on using OpenQuake to assess seismic hazard and risk
“OpenQuake is vast, like a new world, so many options, you have to go deep to take advantage of it, “Jose Carlos Gil from the Mariano Galvez University, Guatemala said at the conclusion of the 3-week CCARA training workshop on seismic hazard and risk assessment held in Pavia, Italy from April 20th - May 12th.
The CCARA project hosted four participants from South America to introduce seismic hazard and risk assessment using tools developed by GEM – specifically the OpenQuake engine. Other participants shared the same opinion about the OpenQuake engine saying that it’s now very user friendly but to fully benefit from it, they recognized the need to continue using it after the training workshop.
They also see further applications of OQ in rural and urban seismic risk assessment citing that improvement in data collection must go hand in hand with the sophisticated software. “I found seismic risk analysis the most interesting topic because you can see the physical and economic results immediately,” a student participant shared.
However, all participants agreed that social vulnerability is as important as assessing physical risk and exposure and they are keen to see GEM giving more attention to this area in the future. The workshop culminated with partners from Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Guatemala and El Salvador presenting their respective exposure models using GEM tools in calculating seismic risk.
Overall, participants said they had a wonderful experience, gaining not just new knowledge and skills but also new friends. The Assessing and Mitigating Earthquake Risk in the Caribbean and Central America (CCARA) Project aims to develop capacity in the region of Central America and the Caribbean for earthquake risk assessment by leveraging GEM tools and resources, to enhance the understanding of earthquake risk, and to bridge the gap between risk assessment and disaster risk reduction. The CCARA project, which runs from 2016-2018 is made possible through the support of USAID (From the American people).