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TREQ2020 – Capacity development and OpenQuake online training, year in review


Jan 23, 2021

The TREQ project is assessing earthquake risk at community level in three metropolitan centers in Latin America: Quito, Ecuador; Santiago de los Caballeros, Dominican Republic; and Cali, Colombia. In order to cope with the current pandemic, the GEM team shifted the capacity training and on-site workshops to online activities.

Aiming to continue and strengthen the local participation in the project activities, 12 OpenQuake online training sessions (3 hours each) have been conducted for more than 200 people in several Latin American countries, with predominant participation from the three TREQ countries (Ecuador, Colombia, and Dominican Republic). The online workshops have increased the reach of the training sessions beyond its original scope.

Free online working sessions are available through a dedicated website available in English and Spanish,, allowing participants around the globe to engage in OpenQuake training activities for earthquake hazard and risk assessment.

The online sessions are divided into four modules that cover the basic concepts: Introduction to OpenQuake and Open Source Tools for Earthquake Hazard and Risk Assessment, Earthquake Scenarios, Probabilistic Seismic Hazard Assessment (PSHA), and Probabilistic Event-Based Risk Assessment. All the materials generated for the workshops have been incorporated into the training website.

The project team has collected more than 200 responses with excellent and encouraging feedback, which helped the team to shape and improve the material and content of the training. Below is some of the feedback from the participants.

“A great course! Very useful for us to start doing work using this great powerful software.” - Zivko Terzic, Melbourne, Australia

I really liked the experience and I would like to take this workshop to my students of the Master's Degree in Earthquake Engineering so that we can do research projects." - Maribel Guzman, PUCMM, Dominican Republic

"Delighted with the information presented and the material is excellent, including the modeling software" - Hernán Suárez, Risk Management Unit - Municipality of Quito, Ecuador

"Congratulations on the development of the tool and your training! Very very interesting and useful." - Srahyrlandy Rocio Díaz, Risk management secretariat, Cali, Colombia

"Excellent explanations. Excellent materials and Excellent speakers" - Jonatan Arreola, CENAPRED, Mexico

Upcoming OpenQuake online training workshops are scheduled for February and March, 2021. For more details, visit

Next steps

Expansion to other regions

In 2020, the activities focused in Latin America, giving special emphasis to materials and sessions in Spanish. But in 2021, the TREQ project team is keen on expanding and improving the training activities to other regions, by providing materials in English and promoting the online training in Asia and Africa.

Training the trainers

Within the context of TREQ, five professors of civil engineering - Ana Beatriz Acevedo (EAFIT, Colombia), José Carlos Gil (UMG, Guatemala), Mario González ( UABC, Mexico), Manuel Alfredo López (UES, El Salvador) and Rolando Castillo (UCR, Costa Rica) - are preparing an academic course on seismic hazard and risk assessment. The course is being structured to be taught to undergraduate and master students over the course of an academic semester (15 to 16 weeks) using the training material from TREQ, including the manual for the development of seismic hazard and risk models, video tutorials and evaluation exercises on fundamentals of seismic risk and the use of OpenQuake. The training materials are already being used at EAFIT and will be presented for approval in the other universities in 2021.

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