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Focus on African geohazards

ICTP to establish sub-Saharan geohazards network

ICTP's upcoming workshop on "Evaluating, Monitoring and Communicating Volcanic and Seismic Hazards in East Africa" aims to have two ambitious outcomes: the establishment of a sub-Sahara African geoscience network focused on seismic and volcanic hazards; and a strategy on the effective communications of hazards information to governmental officials and policy makers in the region.

"Eastern sub-Saharan Africa is one of the most hazardous place on the continent, as it is prone to both volcanic and earthquake hazards" said Abdelkrim Aoudia, a researcher with ICTP's Earth System Physics Section and one of the organisers of the workshop. He pointed out that the past few years have seen an unprecedented amount of volcanic and seismic activity in the East African Rift, including a volcanic eruption in the Congo that forced the evacuation of 500,000 people. 

"ICTP, with its experience in building scientific capacity in Africa, can address the region's urgent need for modern methods for evaluating, monitoring and communicating volcanic and seismic hazards," said Dr. Aoudia.

The two-week workshop, co-funded by IASPEI, IAVCEI, NSF, UNAVCO and USAID, and to be held at ICTP's Trieste campus from 17 to 28 August, has attracted more than 80 participants, the majority of whom are from Africa. After a week of lectures from top earthquake and volcano experts, attendees will have a week of hands-on training to gain experience using space geodetic techniques and modelling software.

ICTP will then coordinate a network of trained African participants that will be encouraged to share seismic and geodetic data across political boundaries. "This network will hopefully lead to the creation, in a near future, of an ICTP affiliated centre acting as an African earthquake and volcano observatory," said Dr. Aoudia.

For more details, visit the workshop website.


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