Assessment of earthquake risks now possible worldwide – especially in emerging countries – thanks to earthquake platform in Global Earthquake Model (GEM)

2015/01/21

After years of preparation, the Global Earthquake Model (GEM) community initiative has unveiled its OpenQuake platform, which will vastly improve the assessment of earthquake risks, in particular in emerging and developing countries.

Munich. Munich Re was a founding sponsor of the GEM and remains one of the main supporters of the project. Board member Torsten Jeworrek: “GEM is a unique project aimed at facilitating measures to protect human life and reduce loss and damage. In emerging and developing countries in particular, inadequate data and varying methodologies have in the past made it difficult to assess earthquake risks. The OpenQuake platform is a milestone on the road to a better understanding of the risks, which will make it easier to be prepared for disasters and to offer insurance solutions in countries where there has been virtually no cover for earthquake risks.”

The OpenQuake platform will be freely accessible to authorities, organisations, scientists and companies and is to be successively extended to all countries by the addition of more data and models. Several hundred scientists from around the world worked together to produce the platform, which incorporates the latest methodologies and data for estimating exposure to earthquakes. It contains national and worldwide data on vulnerability and exposure, which make it possible to predict the extent of possible losses.

GEM is sponsored by 14 international companies, including several insurers and reinsurers, and numerous national and international organisations such as the OECD and UNESCO. The aim of GEM is to increase risk awareness by providing assessments of the earthquake risks, thereby enabling prevention to be improved.

More information about GEM is available at http://www.globalquakemodel.org

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