Dienstag, 21. Juli 2009

Earthquake prediction in Balkans closer to reality

Earthquake prediction in Balkans closer to reality


Under a NATO project, earthquake prediction is inching closer to science and further from fiction.

By Marina Roganovic for Southeast European Times in Podgorica -- 21/07/09

Science for Peace is preparing new seismic hazard maps of the region. [Courtesy of Branislav Glavatovic]

While the latest satellite-assisted experiments into earthquake prediction are promising, research in the field is still very embryonic. NATO's Science for Peace and Security Programme (SPS) is involved in that research in Southeastern Europe, where it is funding an effort that will, according to Project Director Branislav Glavatovic, "provide an important step towards preparedness and prevention activities in disaster management in the Western Balkans".

SPS launched the three-year project in October 2007, financing it with 638,000 euros. Glavatovic co-ordinates the project from its headquarters in Podgorica.

The project's website describes the purpose of the effort. "During past centuries, the southern part of Europe has been devastated by a great number of large earthquakes, resulting in human victims and enormous material loss. Because of intensive building construction and increasing urban population density for the last two decades, the current consequential effects of such disastrous events would be even more drastic. It is therefore, of great importance to assess the seismic hazard properly, raise public awareness and improve disaster planning and management in the whole region."

According to Glavatovic, the project is responsible for "the deployment of new seismic instruments in the participating countries". These include Albania and all the former Yugoslav republics, except for Slovenia. ...




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