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Caribbean and Central America Earthquake Risk Assessment (CCARA)



Earthquake risk is on the rise and earthquakes are expected to take an increasing number of lives. Hazard and risk assessments are the foundation for raising awareness among policy makers and the general public, forming the basis for decisions and actions that effectively build resilience and can reduce risk.

While important work has been carried out in the Central American and Caribbean region to understand earthquake risk assessment and management there is still ample room to enhance that understanding and properly introduce it in decision- and policy-making processes.

In many areas of the world, state-of-the-art information and tools to assess earthquake risk have been inaccessible for a long time. As a first step to tackle this problem, the Global Earthquake Model (GEM) has been created and spent the past 11 years collaboratively advancing open source science and technology for global state-of-the-art seismic hazard and risk modeling, data collection, and risk assessment at scales from local to national, regional, and global.


The project aims to calculate hazard and risk, and to estimate the compounding social and economic factors that increase the physical damage and decrease the post-event capacities of populations to respond to and recover from damaging earthquake events in The Caribbean and Central America, by involving local experts from throughout the region.

The goal of the Program in Central America and the Caribbean is to develop capacity in the region for earthquake risk assessment by leveraging GEM tools and resources, to enhance the understanding of earthquake risk, and to bridge the gap between risk assessment and disaster risk reduction.

  1. To improve the understanding of earthquake risk in the Central America and Caribbean region while developing local capacities to use open source resources for producing earthquake hazard and risk information at regional, national and local scales.

  2. To engage with decision-makers and other end-users to make the connection between advanced risk assessment by local experts and risk-reducing action and so influence DRR policy.


The CCARA project would not have been possible without the contributions of all the municipalities in particular:

  • the Municipality of San José (Costa Rica), 

  • National Commission of Emergencies (CNE), 

  • University of Costa Rica (UCR) - Laboratorio Nacional de Materiales y Estructuras (LANAMME), 

  • INETER, 


  • ODPEM, 

  • BRGM, 

  • Bureau des Mines, 

  • VT, 

  • Geologica UPR Mayaquez, 

  • UNI, 

  • SRC and 

  • UMG.


Caribbean and Central America countries


Caribbean and Central America Earthquake Risk Assessment (CCARA) wiki site contains an overview of the project.

The CCARA project hosted four participants from South America to introduce seismic hazard and risk assessment using tools developed by GEM – specifically the OpenQuake engine.

Modelling subduction earthquakes: GEM experiences in Latin America CCARA project

GEM presents the results of the USAID-funded CCARA Project in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

A hazard workshop in San José, Costa Rica from September 18th to 22nd as part of the risk assessment activities of the CCARA project.

CCAF-DB: The Caribbean and Central American Active Fault Database


The contents of this project website such as studies, reports, audio-visual, news articles, blogs, and other information or media products including those in the external links are made possible by the generous support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The contents are the responsibility of the Global Earthquake Model (GEM) Foundation and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government.

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