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GEM-USAID CCARA Hazard Assessment in San José de Costa Rica

Some 16 scientists from Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua, Panama and Spain attended a hazard workshop in San José, Costa Rica from September 18th to 22nd as part of the risk assessment activities of the CCARA project (Assessing and Mitigating Earthquake Risk in the Caribbean and Central America). GEM, in collaboration with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) conducted the workshop while the Laboratorio Nacional de Materiales y Modelos Estructurales (LANAMME - http://www.lanamme.ucr.ac.cr/ ) - University of Costa Rica hosted the week-long event. GEM representatives - Julio García, Senior Hazard Scientist, and Marco Pagani, Hazard Coordinator - delivered the workshop in two parts: the first focused on the tools developed by GEM for the construction of seismic hazard models and for the calculation of hazard; while the second focused on the participants’ discussion on the current status of the datasets and hazard models developed in the context of the CCARA project. During the workshop, there was general agreement and appreciation among the participants for the intermediate results presented. However, despite significant progress, they also recognized that the work to be completed was still considerable. Dr. Rolando Castillo, (Coordinator - Programme of Structural Engineering, Lanamme, Universidad de Costa Rica) considered the workshop “a complete success”. He expressed satisfaction with the presentations by GEM scientists because they “provided [the participants] with useful information on seismic source definition and modelling; hazard catalogue and modeler’s toolkit; ground motion prediction equations; and ground motion toolkit and demos”. Dr. Douglas Hernández (Dirección General del Observatorio Ambiental. Ministerio de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales (MARN), El Salvador) shared the same observation saying after the workshop, “users learned how to evaluate each step of the hazard assessment process”. In general, participants demonstrated a strong interest to continue collaborating with GEM to reduce seismic risk and to improve the knowledge on this topic. Dr. Vladimir Jiménez (Structural and Geotechnical Engineer, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Dominican Republic) agreed and expressed the same enthusiasm to collaborate more with institutions with the aim of reducing earthquake risk in South America. On the last day of the workshop, a broad discussion on synergies between CCARA and national initiatives opened potential collaborations that could help in expanding the impact of the CCARA project beyond its completion date in March 2018.

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