GEM Secretary General, John Schneider visited stakeholders in Malaysia and Indonesia during the week of May 7 to 11 to strengthen GEM’s collaboration with Southeast Asian nations. John met and discussed potential partnerships with key representatives of national governments, as well as representatives of the academic and private sectors. TNB Malaysia considering OpenQuake for earthquake hazard and risk assessmentOn May 7th, John was invited by the research arm of the Malaysian national energy company, TNB, to visit their campus in Kuala Lumpur and to give a presentation on GEM. TNB is in the process of assessing the earthquake hazard and risk of their critical energy infrastructure for electric power generation and transmission and is interested in partnering with GEM and learning to use OpenQuake to further develop their capacity for hazard and risk assessment.
The project is led by Prof. Azlan Adnan of the University of Technology Malaysia (UTM), who also led a delegation and coordinated a visit to GEM’s headquarters in Pavia, Italy recently. Malaysia has seen a significant increase in earthquake activity since the 2004 M 9.3 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami. As a result, they have been rapidly developing the science and engineering capability to address this new hazard, and in 2017 the government put in place their first building code provisions for earthquake safety.
The GEM presentation was attended by members of the project team at TNB, the University of Technology, Malaysia, as well as by representatives of the national meteorological agency (also responsible for earthquake monitoring) and the national disaster management agency. TNB is keen to develop a public-private partnership to form a national Malaysian sponsorship of GEM and will work with GEM to develop a proposal. Indonesia keen to join GEM and the USAID-supported CRAVE Project.
On May 11th, John visited the Department of Public Works (PUSKIM) of Indonesia research facility in Bandung, 300 km west of Jakarta on the island of Java. PUSKIM has the lead responsibility for the development of the latest national earthquake hazard model and map of Indonesia, which was published in September 2017.
The work was accomplished through the National Committee for Seismic Hazard, a coordination of several academic and technical organizations, and chaired by Prof. Mahsyur Irsyam of the Institute of Technology, Bandung (ITB). He also served as one of the review panel members for GEM’s Global Earthquake Hazard and Risk Model due for release on 5th December this year.
The new national hazard model was developed using a combination of Open Quake and the PSHA code developed by the USGS. John met with Prof Irsyam and with Pak Lufti Faisal, Head of Engineering Department, and Pak Arief Subaruddin, Director of Research Institute for Housing and Human Settlement. Public Works has agreed to provide the national hazard model to the GEM global model.
They are also keen to become a sponsor of GEM, and will work with GEM to develop a proposal to the Ministry. Also on May 11th, John visited the National Center for Volcanology and Geohazards Mitigation (CVGHM) in Bandung. The purpose was to discuss GEM’s invitation to CVGHM to be a participant in the CRAVE Project, funded by USAID for a pilot project on volcano risk assessment. He met with Devi Syahbana, Team Leader for Volcano Hazard Mitigation in Eastern Indonesia who expressed interest to work with GEM incoordination with the national disaster management agency, BNBP. John also met with several members of the earthquake hazard modeling team, also based at CVGHM: Athanasius Cipta and Amalfi Omang who are OpenQuake users, and did much of the model analysis for the national earthquake hazard map. Both of them did masters degrees at the Australian National University under the supervision of Prof. Phil Cummins, the Geoscience Australia representative to the GEM Governing Board.
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