On September 18th and 19th, the EUCENTRE, a GEM sponsor and host institution to the GEM Foundation, hosted a meeting focused on the SERA Project, acronym for ‘Seismology and Earthquake Engineering Research Infrastructure Alliance for Europe’. The EUCENTRE is leading a work package within SERA on the development of a risk framework for Europe, and is collaborating with GEM to develop exposure and vulnerability models, and to run risk calculations at a European scale using the OpenQuake-engine. The overall objective of SERA is to improve access to data, services and research infrastructures, and deliver solutions based on innovative R&D (research and development) in seismology and earthquake engineering with the end goal of reducing the exposure of our society to the risk posed by natural and anthropogenic [j2] earthquakes. For more details, visit SERA's website at www.sera-eu.org. Vitor Silva and Venetia Despotaki, Risk Coordinator and Physical Risk Engineer respectively, attended the meeting on behalf of the GEM Foundation. GEM is working with the other partners in the project, which includes universities and research institutions from Italy, Portugal, Greece, Switzerland, France and Turkey, in the development of exposure and vulnerability models which will generate a number of risk metrics across Europe (average annualized losses, probable maximum losses, risk maps), critical for the development of seismic risk reduction strategies. To this aim, the collaboration between SERA and GEM has already led to the development of an exposure model for 12 countries in the Balkan region for the residential building stock (at the municipality level), i.e.: Albania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Romania, Serbia, and Slovenia. The datasets used are based on the latest national housing census of each country and will be constantly improved. Similarly, the work will be extended to the rest of the European countries. In addition to the residential building stock, databases regarding the industry for each country, and socio-economic indicators (e.g., labour force, population per economic sector) will be further utilized to facilitate the development of exposure models for industrial and commercial buildings. Vitor and Venetia also presented a building taxonomy based on an international standard (the GEM Building Taxonomy that will be used in both the development of building exposure models and the fragility and vulnerability models.
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