Delegation of the European Union to Kazakhstan

How damaging are earthquakes in Central Asia? The new earthquake hazard assessment report has the answers

21/09/2021 - 06:51
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ALMATY, September 16, 2021 – Today, the results of the regional earthquake hazard assessment were presented to a group of technical experts and representatives from national disaster risk management agencies in Central Asia.

ALMATY, September 16, 2021 – Today, the results of the regional earthquake hazard assessment were presented to a group of technical experts and representatives from national disaster risk management agencies in Central Asia.

Central Asia faces several natural hazards, but earthquakes represent the highest risk in terms of potential loss of lives and economic damage. According to EM-DAT, since 1991, earthquakes alone have affected more than 311,000 people and caused losses in excess of US$ 203 million in all five Central Asian countries. A significant area of Central Asia including almost all major cities lie in the high seismic risk zone. Naturally, governments in the region keep disaster risk reduction and management high on their agenda.

While significant progress has been made over the last years, the region still requires a more comprehensive disaster management capacity. Regional cooperation can thus help strengthening efforts of each Central Asian country in building disaster resilience and improving capacities for financial protection. The presented earthquake hazard assessment contributes to filling this gap and prepares the ground for the development of a comprehensive risk model for Central Asia. The developed earthquake source and ground motion prediction models will be used for the calculation of specific hazard-compatible earthquake scenarios and eventually enable governments to make better-informed decisions about investments into resilience.

The analysis was conducted using state-of-the-art methodologies, thorough analysis tools, and the most complete and latest information available for the region. National experts actively participated in the research, providing the necessary support with datasets and local knowledge. The earthquake hazard assessment will be complemented by two similar analyses on fluvial and pluvial flood as well as landslide hazards. Together, this set of assessments will collectively contribute to advancing disaster risk finance and insurance solutions for Central Asia and help national governments embed a more forward-looking approach that shifts from managing disasters to managing risks.

The assessment was commissioned as part of the EU-funded “Strengthening Financial Resilience and Accelerating Risk Reduction in Central Asia” which is managed by the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) and implemented by the World Bank in close collaboration with the Center for Emergency Situations and Disaster Risk Reduction (CESDRR). The development of the report was carried out by a consortium of international experts led by RED (Risk Engineering + Development) in collaboration with local technical specialists.

For additional information, please contact:

Ms. Chyi-Yun Huang, Senior Urban Development and Disaster Risk Management Specialist, World Bank, e-mail: chuang@worldbank.org.

Ms. Elnura Abakanova, Communications officer, EU Delegation to Kazakhstan, e-mail: elnura.abakanova@eeas.europa.eu

 

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