PNG clears the ground for new building codes
Papua New Guinea is situated at the edge of what is called the “ring of fire”, within the convergence zone of the Pacific and Australian tectonic plates. Its current seismic zoning map, which was developed in the early 1980s and is included in the national building code, needed a revision. In 2013 the PNG’s Department of Mineral Policy and Geohazards Management began a project in collaboration with Geoscience Australia to re-evaluate the level of seismic hazard in the region and to replace the existing model.
Fully funded by the Australian Aid, this project leveraged the OpenQuake- Engine for the hazard assessment, selecting the software among others for its openness, transparency and scalability. Preliminary results of the study are now available (Fig.1); whereas the final results as well as the input models will be released after peer review and publication of the official report. OpenQuake is also used routinely by Port Moresby Geophysical Observatory to generate earthquake ShakeMaps for significant earthquakes in the region.