Reducing Earthquake Losses in the Extended Mediterranean Region (RELEMR) programme

Countries participating on RELEMR Programme

Countries participating in the RELEMR programme.

The Mediterranean region, because of its geological structure, seismicity, active tectonics, topography and climate, has been frequently subjected to natural disasters resulting in great losses of life and property. Large portions of the land surface, population, infrastructure and industry of the region have been subjected to earthquakes in the past or will be in the future.

UNESCO and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) launched the Reducing Earthquake Losses in the Eastern Mediterranean Region (RELEMR) programme in Cairo in 1993 with the purpose of assessing, evaluating and reducing expected earthquake losses in this region. Thirty-five RELEMR meetings have been held since the first meeting in 1993.

The goals of RELEMR workshops are to foster data exchange among countries in the region; to conduct joint activities and experiments that would improve the quality of seismic data; to improve hazard assessments in the Mediterranean region; to improve the dissemination of earthquake engineering data; and, ultimately, to improve the seismic provisions of building codes in the region.

At these meetings participants discuss regional approaches to improve seismic data (e.g., more accurate locations and improved magnitude estimates), probabilistic seismic hazard assessment (PSHA), and engineering issues (e.g., reasons for building failures). Moreover special sessions are held on the technical methodology and applications of the HAZUS-MH earthquake loss estimation model; the protection of historical sites in the Extended Mediterranean Region and Open Source Software; and the production of a RELEMR seismicity map.

Specialized institutions responsible for earthquake risk studies from the following countries and authorities have been participating in these workshops on a regular basis: Algeria, Cyprus, Egypt, France, Germany, Greece, Kuwait, Iran, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Palestinian Authority, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States and Yemen.

RELEMR workshops contribute to the understanding of the risks posed by earthquakes in the Extended Mediterranean Region and the participants have the opportunity to contribute to the health and safety of millions of people.

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