The United Nations General Assembly has designated October 13th as the International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction to promote a global culture of disaster risk reduction. Disasters have a vital impact on people's lives as well as on their wellbeing. Concerning catastrophes caused by nature such as thunderstorms, landslides, or droughts, earthquakes are the deadliest natural hazard. However, many damages and losses can be avoided through effective risk reduction strategies.
In March of this year, an earthquake with a magnitude of 5.4 occurred near Zagreb (Croatia). Bricks fell from roofs, facades cracked, walls collapsed, debris damaged parked cars, and many citizens got injured. Up to now, earthquakes cannot be predicted, but there are measures and approaches for minimizing their consequences. Developing tools and measures to reduce future human and economic losses is the aim of RISE, which stands for "Real-time earthquake rIsk reduction for a reSilient Europe". RISE studies seismic risk, its changes, importance, and evolution at all stages of the risk management process. The project depicts current potentials and limits as well as advances the state of the art to reduce seismic risk in Europe and beyond.
After one year of the project, first results are becoming apparent. RISE contributes in many ways to gain knowledge, which will be beneficial to reduce further earthquake-related losses. For instance, RISE has successfully deployed a prototype array as a demonstrator in Bern (Switzerland) and designed an impulse generator, which is currently being tested in multi-storey buildings. In addition, the researcher focused on developing new and extending existing approaches to model seismicity. Some models have already demonstrated, and therefore, the project has made notable progress in the fields of earthquake forecasting. It also focused on physics-based modelling of seismicity, an evolving field. Furthermore, static and time-invariant exposure models for 45 countries and time-invariant vulnerability models representing over 500 buildings have been developed. To ensure the best possible usage of all available information for the benefit of society, RISE scientists tested different start page designs and hazard announcements representing the diversity of elements used in multi-hazard platforms and conducted workshops to understand which features of multi-hazard warning apps non-experts prefer.
Thus, RISE adopts an integrative, holistic view of risk reduction targeting the different stages of risk management. Improved technological capabilities are applied to combine and link all relevant information to enhance scientific understanding, inform societies and consequently foster Europe's resilience and beyond.
More information: https://www.undrr.org/