METEOR Project: successful completion produced useful, scientifically sound, accessible and cost-efficient data and protocols

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Photo credit: METEOR Project

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Photo credit: METEOR Project

After three years, the METEOR project, a consortium led by the British Geological Survey, has come to a successful conclusion, delivering all the expected outputs for pilot countries Nepal and Tanzania. The project aimed to formulate an innovative methodology of creating quality data and models that can be used to improve decision-making in disaster risk management (DRM) through the use of earth observation or EO-based imagery to identify development patterns throughout a country.


The results include EO-based exposure data for 47 ODA countries; protocols and standards for developing locally calibrated exposure data (tested and validated in Nepal and Tanzania); and capacity development of core stakeholders. These results are expected to promote welfare and economic development in the pilot and 47 ODA countries, and demonstrate the applicability of the techniques elsewhere.


For planning, the data and protocols developed can help municipalities to identify areas with high landslide susceptibility, and the corresponding risk to buildings located in those areas. In emergency response, such as after an earthquake, municipalities can identify the following: low hazard areas where people can be moved to safety, where the biggest impacts are likely to be and where to focus land-use planning and  building retrofitting efforts.


GEM contributions

GEM, a member of the consortium, contributed to two work packages: structural vulnerability assessment and propagation of uncertainty to disaster risk estimates for multiple perils including earthquakes, landslides, floods, and volcanoes; and knowledge sharing and dissemination of project outputs and protocols through the use of web portals and training workshops with local partners.


In Tanzania,  GEM, HOT, and DMD co-led an earthquake scenario demonstration and walkthrough workshops. A hypothetical M7.0 earthquake offshore Dar es Salaam was modelled, investigating the potential impacts of the 2020 M6.0 earthquake near Dar es Salaam had it been stronger. Using these impact estimates, stakeholders organized into 3 separate groups to determine their ministry's role in response, discuss how certain challenges to response might be overcome, and identify data that could be helpful to respond.


In Nepal, GEM led workshop sessions on seismic hazards and risk, which  included an overview of the theory and methodology pertaining to seismic hazard assessment (both scenario-based and probabilistic), exposure considerations specific to earthquake hazards, vulnerability modelling, and risk analysis and metrics.


GEM also assisted project partners that are leading other work packages, including the construction of improved building vulnerability models for buildings with some retrofit or other seismic intervention. This work informed a cost-benefit analysis that can be used to indicate the return-on-investment of seismic mitigation strategies.


METEOR Partners

Other members of the consortium included Fathom (flood hazard model), Oxford Policy Management (OPM) (project monitoring and management), ImageCat (EO-based data for exposure development, methods and protocols, and training), The Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT) (exposure data in Kathmandu and Dar es Salaam for validation and calibration of building patterns from EO-based imagery), National Society for Earthquake Technology (NSET) in Nepal,and the Disaster Management Department (DMD) of the Prime Minister’s Office of Tanzania - key to the co-development of the country datasets.


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