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  • International Conference for the Decade Memory of the Wenchuan Earthquake

    Latest News International Conference for the Decade Memory of the Wenchuan Earthquake READ MORE Photo caption: ​ GALLERY RELATED CONTENTS RELATED CONTENTS ​ The 4th International Conference on Continental Earthquakes organized by the China Earthquake Administration (CEA) was held from May 12-14, 2018 in Chengdu, Sichuan, China to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Wenchuan earthquake. “It has been 10 years since the great earthquake of Wenchuan, Sichuan, southwest China. The impact of that devastating event on either natural science or social sustainability was so important that a decade review will be of no doubt worth for further development,” said Prof. Guoguang Zheng, conference convener and Director of China Earthquake Administration. In line with this, GEM’s Marco Pagani with CEA’s Prof. Mengtan Gao co-organized a session on the activities promoted by Global Earthquake Model. In this session, Anirudh Rao from the GEM Risk Team presented how the OpenQuake engine could be used to assess earthquake risk. Examples of annual average losses, exposure and vulnerability models were presented to emphasize the scientific features of the engine. Anirudh also emphasized the importance of open tools and open data being promoted by GEM. This conference had also been a venue to report the progress of GEM-CEA collaboration to implement China’s national earthquake hazard model on OpenQuake. The collaboration, which started in 2017 hopes to update China’s hazard model for better understanding of future earthquakes in the country. The GEM-CEA technical partnership aims to further fine tune the model for mitigation purposes. In one of the presentations, Professor Tso-Chien Pan from the Institute of Catastrophe Risk Management-NTU Singapore showed a case-study using OpenQuake to investigate the effects of high-resolution location-based exposure data on seismic risk estimates of urbanized regions in Southeast Asia. About the Wenchuan earthquake Sichuan earthquake of 2008, also called Wenchuan earthquake or Great Wenchuan Earthquake, Chinese Wenchuan dizhen or Wenchuan Da Dizhen, massive and enormously devastating earthquake that occurred in the mountainous central region of Sichuan province in southwestern China on May 12, 2008. The epicentre of the magnitude-7.9 quake (measured as magnitude 8.0 by the Chinese) was located near the city of Dujiangyan, about 50 miles (80 km) west-northwest of Chengdu, the provincial capital, at a depth of 11.8 miles (19 km) below the surface. The May 2008 quake flattened some four-fifths of the structures in the affected area. Whole villages and towns in the mountains were destroyed, and many schools collapsed. Almost 90,000 people were counted as dead or missing and presumed dead in the final official Chinese government assessment; the officially reported total killed included more than 5,300 children, the bulk of them students attending classes.(source: https://www.britannica.com/event/Sichuan-earthquake-of-2008) GALLERY No images found. RELATED CONTENTS 1/0

  • Resilience Performance Scorecard (RPS) in San Jose de Costa Rica

    Latest News Resilience Performance Scorecard (RPS) in San Jose de Costa Rica READ MORE Photo caption: ​ GALLERY RELATED CONTENTS RELATED CONTENTS ​ Some 43 community members and 39 officials from San Jose, Costa Rica participated in GEM’s resilience performance and social vulnerability evaluation using GEM’s Resilience Performance Scorecard (RPS). The Municipality of San Jose, the National Commission of Emergencies (CNE) of Costa Rica, the National Laboratory of Materials and Structural Models (LANAME) from the University of Costa Rica and USAID supported the workshop held from June 15-16. The objective was to empower stakeholders of disaster management institutions and leaders of the community to assess earthquake risk and resilience using innovative data collection technologies. This assessment allows the stakeholders to identify the achievements and the gaps in the resilience of the city. The first draft of the report of the results will be ready in September and will be made public once the report has been approved by the Municipality of San Jose and the CNE of Costa Rica. The RPS workshop is part of GEM’s Assessing and Mitigating Earthquake Risk in the Caribbean and Central America (CCARA) Project. The objectives of the project are: to develop capacity in the region of Central America and the Caribbean 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. GEM’s RPS is being used as an essential step to understand and enhance the resilience of cities to earthquakes by measuring baseline conditions of what makes communities resilient. GALLERY No images found. RELATED CONTENTS 1/0

  • From Volcanic Hazard to Risk Assessment

    Latest News From Volcanic Hazard to Risk Assessment READ MORE Photo caption: ​ GALLERY RELATED CONTENTS RELATED CONTENTS ​ The University of Geneva hosted the inaugural International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth's Interior (IAVCEI) - Global Volcano Model Network (GVM) Workshop in Geneva, Switzerland from June 27-29. More than 30 international experts in the field of volcanic hazard, exposure, vulnerability and risk assessment participated in the workshop to evaluate the state of the art of risk assessment in volcanology, investigate current gaps and identify research priorities. The workshop tackled three thematic areas: i) current perspectives in volcanic risk assessment, ii) how to analyze volcanic vulnerability and iii) how to combine volcanic hazard and risk. Luis Martins, GEM Physical Risk Engineer presented and discussed the differences and similarities between earthquake and volcanic impact assessment. He shared key vulnerability aspects that need to be assessed for a comprehensive and efficient risk assessment based on the recently completed GEM’s global earthquake vulnerability database project, which he led from 2017-2018. “Earthquake risk assessment and volcano risk assessment share many key aspects, and it is clear that close collaboration between both communities can greatly improve the understanding of both hazards,” Luis concludes at the end of his presentation. GEM is actively pursuing collaboration with other peril groups in particular the volcano hazard and risk assessment community through the CRAVE and the GED4ALL projects (global exposure database), to share its long experience in developing ‘open data and open tools’ to promote global risk information sharing. GEM’s participation in this first international workshop further strengthens its commitment to contribute and lead the global efforts to make risk information across perils accessible to the DRR community and its stakeholders. GALLERY No images found. RELATED CONTENTS 1/0

  • SERA Project workshop

    Latest News SERA Project workshop READ MORE Photo caption: ​ GALLERY RELATED CONTENTS RELATED CONTENTS ​ 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 https://www.globalquakemodel.org/single-post/2017/05/17/GEM-Building-Taxonomy-Version-20) that will be used in both the development of building exposure models and the fragility and vulnerability models. GALLERY No images found. RELATED CONTENTS 1/0

  • Swiss Re-GEM partnership aims to build insurance loss models using GEM’s OpenQuake and global databases

    Latest News Swiss Re-GEM partnership aims to build insurance loss models using GEM’s OpenQuake and global databases READ MORE Photo caption: ​ GALLERY RELATED CONTENTS RELATED CONTENTS ​ Global reinsurer Swiss Re has joined GEM as Advisor Sponsor. The sponsorship came on the heels of a successful pilot project with Swiss Re Institute and its Cat Perils unit to improve GEM’s hazard model for Italy using the OpenQuake engine for Swiss Re’s in-house model development. The project -- based on the SHARE European earthquake hazard model -- was successfully completed in September 2019 and set the basis for the Swiss Re sponsorship. ​ With this renewed collaboration, Swiss Re will continue to use GEM datasets on exposure and vulnerability for reference, and work on integrating the OQ engine together with GEM and publicly available OQ hazard models in their model development process. ​ "Swiss Re shares GEM's vision of a world more resilient to natural catastrophes and we're proud to support this truly global initiative. GEM provides state-of-the-art science and software tools and has become a valuable forum for open collaboration within the risk assessment community. By using the same open software for common tasks, the community can focus its efforts on analyzing and improving data and models. We believe that the pioneering work done by GEM will lead to a new era of collaboration and transparency on seismic hazard and risk assessment." Michael Ewald, Earthquake Perils Lead at Swiss Re Institute. ​ “An important part of GEM’s evolving journey is to turn GEM models into products useful for the insurance industry. With this collaboration, GEM will not only have the opportunity to develop products for the insurance sector but also demonstrate that it can be done in a mutually beneficial way,” John Schneider, Secretary General, on partnering with Swiss Re for insurance loss modelling. ​ A partnership built from past successes Swiss Re Foundation, a separate legal entity of Swiss Re Group, funded the South America Risk Assessment (SARA) project implemented collaboratively by GEM from 2013-2015. It focused mainly on risk assessment capacity development in South America. Local experts and stakeholders with GEM scientists and engineers carried out activities such as compilation of earthquake catalogues, creation of risk metrics and country risk profiles, and estimation of social vulnerability using GEM tools and products. ​ Recently, a successful pilot project for Italy to improve GEM’s hazard module using the OpenQuake engine for Swiss Re’s in-house model development was completed in September. ​ Way forward Swiss Re, Hannover Re and GEM are currently collaborating on a pilot project to implement national and regional GEM models in the OASIS loss modelling framework for risk quantification and a transparent approach in loss estimation using GEM models and tools. The goal is to bring the models up to industry standards and to have a market-ready model by Spring of 2020. ​ About Swiss Re Swiss Re Group is one of the world’s leading providers of reinsurance, insurance and other forms of insurance-based risk transfer, working to make the world more resilient. ​ Its distinct mission: Together, we apply fresh perspectives, knowledge and capital to anticipate and manage risk, in order to create smarter solutions for our clients, helping the world rebuild, renew and move forward. Today 75% of insurance risks – from natural catastrophes and climate change, to ageing populations and cybercrime – remain uninsured. Swiss Re aims to change that. ​ Headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland, where it was founded in 1863, the Swiss Re Group operates through a network of around 80 offices globally. Its approximately 14,500 employees provide a wide range of technical expertise, enabling the company to develop unique solutions and drive growth. Swiss Re is organised into three Business Units, each with a distinct strategy and set of objectives contributing to the Group’s overall mission. GALLERY No images found. RELATED CONTENTS 1/0

  • Celebrating Achievements and Way Forward

    Latest News Celebrating Achievements and Way Forward READ MORE Photo caption: ​ GALLERY RELATED CONTENTS RELATED CONTENTS ​ As GEM’s first Working Programme (2009-2013) draws to a close, the GEM Foundation presents to partners, collaborators and stakeholders worldwide, ”Celebrating achievements & looking forward”, GEM vision document for global earthquake risk assessment and a sustainable future for GEM. ”The document celebrates GEM’s journey from the idea of a handful of determined individuals, to what has now become a global community, a solid reality and an authoritative voice in earthquake risk assessment globally” said Rui Pinho, GEM Secretary-General. Right from its inception, GEM chose the less travelled road to increase earthquake resilience, building its work and community around the principles of openness, transparency, inclusiveness, equitable access, solid science and collaborative work across sectors, geographies, and disciplines. At the end of GEM’s first Working Programme, GEM’s unique approach has proven to be the right one; the breadth and wealth of tools and resources developed and being developed, through the involvement of global scientists and stakeholders, is advancing the science and technology needed for global state-of-the-art seismic hazard and risk modelling, data collection, and risk assessment at scales from global, to regional and national. This strategic document shares the successes but also the challenges and the issues that GEM needs to address as it moves towards its second Working Programme (2014-2018). Long-term impact and sustainability are crucial for the achievement of GEM’s mission. From 2014 onwards, GEM’s focus will shift towards practical implementation, public communication and development of datasets and tools at a local scale, to increase the applicability of the products in the OpenQuake platform for reliable risk mitigation. GEM will look at different collaboration opportunities in order to permeate different levels of risk management, and transfer and translate GEM products into accessible resources at different levels of governance from global to regional, to local. With the support of current and future partners, collaborators and stakeholders worldwide, GEM will continue to engage in a wide range of partnerships to advance the science required to assess the risk of the complex interconnected systems within which we live, and increase resilience to earthquakes globally. GALLERY No images found. RELATED CONTENTS 1/0

  • USGS presentation by GEM’s Vitor Silva: Annual Risk Community of Practice Meeting

    Latest News USGS presentation by GEM’s Vitor Silva: Annual Risk Community of Practice Meeting READ MORE Photo caption: USGS office GALLERY RELATED CONTENTS RELATED CONTENTS USGS office Vitor Silva recently participated in the virtual USGS Annual Risk Community of Practice Meeting to share his experiences at GEM on the meaning of risk analysis, how it is done, and what it looks like in the end. Vitor was joined by three other Risk Analysis panel speakers - Robyn Wilson of Ohio State University who discussed the development of strategic communication efforts, and the design of decision support tools that assist individuals in making more informed choices; Megan Linkin of Swiss Re who discussed innovative parametric solutions to cover natural catastrophe exposure for a range of client segments, including public sector buyers and large corporates; and Katherine Greig of Flood Re who discussed recovery and resiliency focused on climate change, flood insurance, and building mitigation. The Risk Analysis Panel sessions tackled the tools of the trade, current state of knowledge, processes used in risk analysis, risk analysis in structured decision-making and some examples of products and applications being used for analyzing risks. Vitor shared his experiences in the development of several vulnerability and risk studies at the urban, national and global scale; the assessment of the impact of earthquakes in dozens of regions around the world, and capacity building events he had conducted with the GEM team covering more than 500 participants from more than 60 countries. He also discussed his most recent research that focused on the integration of machine learning in risk analysis, forecasting of earthquake risk into the future and interaction of natural hazards and the ongoing COVID19 pandemic. The Risk Analysis Panel discussions concluded with planning for the next year’s meeting. Topics discussed in three breakout groups ranged from how to effect knowledge transfer as a community; how to facilitate making connections across a virtual space; and what’s needed as a community to build capacity in risk research and applications. Vitor’s full presentation is available here . GALLERY No images found. RELATED CONTENTS Vitor Silva presenting at a USGS webinar Vitor Silva presenting at a USGS webinar 1/1

  • Fault2SHA 3rd Workshop: Role of scaling laws & fault interaction

    Latest News Fault2SHA 3rd Workshop: Role of scaling laws & fault interaction READ MORE Photo caption: ​ GALLERY RELATED CONTENTS RELATED CONTENTS ​ The event gathered scientists working on earthquake hazards from a variety of perspectives: fault mappers, seismologists, hazard modelers, theoretical geophysicists, and engineers.The presentations by keynote speakers illustrated many challenges in understanding the distribution of earthquakes in time and space. However they also noted that through careful data collection and analysis, progress is being made on important topics such as fault segmentation and earthquake clustering. In addition, the work by the hazard modelers shows that the constantly improving hazard engines such as OpenQuake and skills of the modelers are capable of dealing with the complexities of earthquake occurrence. The group believes that the main challenges in estimating earthquake hazards lie in the scientific rather than technical aspects. Underscoring the value of openness and transparency, Richard Styron, GEM Active Fault Specialist says, “The level of communication and mutual interest was high among participants throughout the workshop, and there is widespread support for the creation of natural laboratories where observational scientists and modelers can share data and ideas, and test hypotheses, in an open and mutually supportive environment.” The FAULT2SHA is a Working Group formally approved by the European Seismological Commission during its 35th General Assembly in September 2016. It is open to all researchers interested in contributing to discussions on topics that could improve the assessment of seismic hazard. For more information, please visit https://fault2shablog.wordpress.com/ . GALLERY No images found. RELATED CONTENTS 1/0

  • Canada’s new earthquake science: Learning from loss models

    Latest News Canada’s new earthquake science: Learning from loss models READ MORE Photo caption: ​ GALLERY RELATED CONTENTS RELATED CONTENTS ​ The Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction (ICLR) recently organized a webinar and invited leaders from the loss modeling community to present and discuss their views about seismic risk in Canada. Participants from RMS, AIR, CoreLogic and NRCan presented their estimates of the expected consequences of a catastrophic earthquake and participated in a discussion about the differences in the findings between the models. More than 200 participants with an interest in Canadian catastrophe risk participated from across sectors including insurance and risk finance, government, and academia. "This workshop really brought together insurers, government policy makers and researchers to look at what the latest earthquake risk science is telling us about Canada, and to determine how to manage it from public and private perspectives." Paul Kovacs, ICLR Director. The webinar tackled three current issues – preparedness for extreme earthquake hazards, new science anticipating increased shaking, and analysis of the risk of fire following a major earthquake. For the first time, Canadian earthquake modelers across public and private sectors came together to discuss how models support action to manage and address these issues. In a panel led by ICLR Director Paul Kovacs, Lori Medders (Professor of Insurance, Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina, USA) and GEM Secretary General John Schneider closed the meeting with a conversation about the importance of loss models in serving the public interest and how important transparent and open models and methodologies are to gaining trust and managing risk. “For GEM, I think the open approach has been fundamental in developing partnerships, and in developing the capacity to do hazard and risk assessments across sectors and stakeholder groups.” John said. He added that “Ultimately it has greatly accelerated the transition from research to application and has broadened the scope of applications. We're fast tracking research directly into models and their use. As we've seen in the presentations today on the development of Canadian earthquake risk models, information is being taken up and digested very quickly if it's openly available.” About ICLR The Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction (ICLR), is a world-class center for multi-disciplinary disaster prevention research and communication. ICLR was established by Canada’s property and casualty (p&c) insurance industry as an independent, not-for-profit research institute affiliated with Western University. ICLR has been leading a conversation about the new science about earthquakes in Canada. The 2020 Canadian seismic hazard model predicts much stronger shaking than the 2015 model and ICLR research shows that the risk of extensive fire damage following an earthquake also increases. Models help insurers and other decision makers understand the evolving knowledge about earthquakes. For more information about ICLR, visit https://www.iclr.org . GALLERY No images found. RELATED CONTENTS 1/0

  • The Global Earthquake Model 2018: A step toward earthquake resilience

    Latest News The Global Earthquake Model 2018: A step toward earthquake resilience READ MORE Photo caption: ​ GALLERY RELATED CONTENTS RELATED CONTENTS ​ Since 2009, GEM has been developing collaborations around the world to assess earthquake hazard and risk. In 2015, GEM released the OpenQuake-Engine, a software program that is rapidly becoming the standard worldwide for calculating earthquake hazard and risk. Later that year, GEM committed to completing the Global Earthquake Model, leveraging its global collaborations of hundreds of experts and several regional programs using a common methodology and open analysis tools to coordinate the completion of a global mosaic of hazard and risk models. Combined, this represents the culmination of a 10-year effort to bring a comprehensive and globally complete set of information about earthquake hazard and risk together into a suite of products for use by the entire community of risk modellers, risk management professionals, and the public. ​ On December 5th in Pavia, Italy, the GEM Event will feature: release of the global earthquake hazard and risk maps, presentations on new directions from public, private and academic perspectives panel discussions to explore development, uses, drivers and future of maps and models posters and demonstrations showing the development and application of GEM tools and models You will get an insider’s look on how the GEM2018 map was made and its applications in risk management, on interactive tools specially developed for the map, and on the strategic drivers, demands, and future directions for research and applications. You will find out what has changed in our global understanding of earthquake hazard since the release of GSHAP in 1999; you will learn how we have assembled information on the exposure and vulnerability of population and the built environment to assess the risks of economic loss and human mortality at national level globally. Further, you will see how these risks are distributed around the world and gain insights for a wide range of risk management applications and resilience planning. GALLERY No images found. RELATED CONTENTS 1/0