Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg

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HEiKA Research Project in Geography starts in 2013
  As part of the Heidelberg Karlsruhe Research Partnership (HEiKA) a new research project Integrated Earthquake Risk Assessment for the Himalayan Region (IERA - Himal) is about to start in 2013. Principal Investigator from the Heidelberg side is Prof. Marcus Nüsser, Head of the Department of Geography at SAI, who will jointly conduct the project with Dr. Bijan Khazai, Center for Disaster Management and Risk Reduction Technologies (CEDIM), Karlsruhe.
The competences and expertise of the involved institutions CEDIM and SAI allows to bridge the gap between natural and social sciences in the emerging field of disaster mitigation and risk reduction.

The project Integrated Earthquake Risk Assessment for the Himalayan Region (IERA - Himal) seeks to develop an integrated framework of risk and vulnerability to better understand human-environmental interactions in the context of extreme natural hazards and socio-economic development. The key feature of the proposed study in one of the most seismically active and landslide-prone regions in the world is to move from classical approaches in modeling risk into a more systemic and integrative approach accounting for interactions between hazards, engineered systems and society. Given the systemic vulnerability and the low level of preparedness of exposed populations in the Himalaya, we seek to understand how natural hazards as drivers affect regional livelihoods within the context of rapid population growth and urbanization. An indicator-based vulnerability and resilience index will be developed for Nepal based on detailed case studies using state-of-the-art remote sensing technique, probabilistic multi-variable modeling and field surveying. The results allow for a socio-economic comparison of places and their relative potential for harm or loss. The key findings will result in the development of a framework for integrated earthquake risk assessment.
27 Nov 2012
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