Rescue Efforts in Nepal Aided by Real-Time Assessment of Landslide Risk
April 29, 2015—Cardiff University experts are aiding the immediate rescue efforts in Nepal by providing a real-time assessment of further landslide risks following Saturday’s devastating earthquake.
Dr Robert Parker and his team from the University’s School of Earth and Ocean Sciences have developed a unique program, known as ShakeSlide.
The computer program provides disaster assessment teams with invaluable information in providing post-earthquake assessments.
Organisations like The World Bank and MapAction are now collaborating with Dr Parker directly, working alongside the disaster assessment teams.
Dr Parker said: “Saturday’s earthquake in Nepal occurred in one of the world’s most landslide-prone regions.
“Landslide hazards are expected to account for a substantial proportion of losses and damage produced by this event. ShakeSlide provides a first-order prediction of the probability of landsliding across regions affected by seismic shaking, using ground motion data published by the United States Geological Survey.
“The predictions are based on a statistical analysis of spatial patterns of landslides triggered by a sample of large earthquakes in the USA, New Zealand, Taiwan and China.
“The model predictions provide a rapid, first-order assessment of earthquake-triggered landslide hazards, and are currently being used to guide efforts to map landslide damage caused by Saturday’s earthquake in Nepal.”
Dr Parker’s preliminary predictions are being used on the ground to assist the post-disaster response.
The information is helping relief agencies assess the extent of damage across tens of thousands of square kilometres affected by this earthquake.
Cardiff University is recognised in independent government assessments as one of Britain’s leading teaching and research universities and is a member of the Russell Group of the UK’s most research intensive universities. Among its academic staff are two Nobel Laureates, including the winner of the 2007 Nobel Prize for Medicine, University Chancellor Professor Sir Martin Evans. Founded by Royal Charter in 1883, today the University combines impressive modern facilities and a dynamic approach to teaching and research. The University’s breadth of expertise encompasses: the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences; the College of Biomedical and Life Sciences; and the College of Physical Sciences, along with a longstanding commitment to lifelong learning. Cardiff’s four flagship Research Institutes are offering radical new approaches to cancer stem cells, catalysis, neurosciences and mental health and sustainable places.