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Community earthquake strategy

The European Commission has approved an earthquake strategy to reinforce research and increase international cooperation in dealing with earthquakes.

Earthquakes kill, on average, 20,000 people each year, and affect many more. In the European Union, about 5,000 people have be...
The European Commission has approved an earthquake strategy to reinforce research and increase international cooperation in dealing with earthquakes.

Earthquakes kill, on average, 20,000 people each year, and affect many more. In the European Union, about 5,000 people have been killed by earthquakes in the past 15 years and economic damage in the same period is estimated at ECU 430 million. A major earthquake striking a European city would have catastrophic consequences, with high-risk structures like dams, power stations and pipelines likely to be damaged.

The Commission's strategy aims to improve techniques and skills for prediction, prevention, preparedness and emergency management. The strategy, which does not call for additional funding, highlights a wide range of RTD activities and a range of positive measures currently operative in the EU as an effective means to mitigate the risks posed by the threat of earthquakes to the safety of citizens.

Earthquake research is undertaken within the following specific programmes of the Fourth RTD Framework Programme, as well as by the Joint Research Centre:

- Environment and Climate;
- Industrial Materials and Technologies (BRITE/EURAM);
- Training and Mobility of Researchers (TMR);
- Standards, Measurements and Testing (SMT).

The proposed action lines are designed to reinforce existing activities associated with earthquake research, mitigation, civil protection, emergency aid and other relevant actions:

- Bring all available earthquake records together and process the earthquake data in a uniform manner so as to provide comprehensive strong motion data and their detailed seismological and engineering information;

- Experimental application of Eurocodes, which are in the form of European building pre-standards, should be reviewed in the context of the completion of the internal market; especially Eurocode 8 for the design and construction of buildings and civil engineering works in seismic regions. All appropriate measures should be taken to ensure the national application of Eurocodes;

- Advance and reinforce international cooperation, in particular with Japan and the USA, in the areas of civil protection and in research;

- Earthquake research needs to be considered for inclusion in the Fifth RTD Framework Programme.

Source: European Commission, DG XII
DE FR

Related information

Subjects

Earth Sciences - Safety
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