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  • Mapping COVID19 cases against earthquake risk
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Mapping COVID19 cases against earthquake risk

Source(s):  Global Earthquake Model Foundation (GEM)

GEM has been making contributions to COVID-19 disaster management as well as seeking ways to leverage GEM's work to benefit the disaster management community. To this date, GEM has provided social vulnerability data on the availability of hospital facilities and beds in Latin America (based on SARA and CCARA projects) at the request of the USAID office in Ecuador; and provided a report on earthquake risk to Croatia (prepared by Helen Crowley-EUCENTRE and Vitor Silva-GEM) to support the World Bank assistance to Croatia following the Zagreb earthquake in March this year.

“The COVID-19 emergency is a problem that affects most of the countries in the world and will continue, unfortunately, for many months. Many of these countries are also affected by seismic hazard and risk. There is a high probability that a seismic event will occur before the COVID-19 emergency is over,” says Mauro Dolce, GEM Governing Board Chair and General Scientific Advisor of the Italian Department of Civil Protection.

He further adds that “This is a real case for which a multirisk approach is fundamental in addressing risk as demonstrated by a case in Europe, in Zagreb, Croatia, where a moderate earthquake resulted in a problematic management of COVID-19 cases and emergencies. Fortunately, the COVID-19 situation there was not severe.”

“The combined risk of earthquakes and COVID-19 and the opportunity for GEM to contribute is very much in line with GEM’s current and ongoing programs.” John Schneider, GEM Secretary General shares GEM’s potential role in the initiative. The overlay of COVID-19 statistics over the GEM global earthquake risk map (2018) provides a simple visual image of where such risk may be significant.

“GEM is also working with the UNDRR Global Risk Assessment Framework to promote the development of methodologies to assess systemic and cascading risk to COVID-19, and to partner with developing countries to improve their ability to manage and reduce the overall risk to society.”

AIR Worldwide, a founding GEM sponsor, has developed a COVID-19 Dashboard freely available for producing projections to the future development of infections and number of deaths by country. AIR has expanded their Model for Pandemics to reflect the actual crises.

GEM is interested to further leverage its risk modelling tools and information to provide assistance to better understand and manage the global risk to COVID-19. If you would like more information on GEM’s exposure and vulnerability data or modelling capabilities, or have an interest in collaborating with GEM, please contact communication@globalquakemodel.org.



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  • Publication date 22 May 2020

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