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The core of ecorisQ is made of its members. By joining ecorisQ you will expand your professional network and profit from transparent tools in the field of natural hazard risks. Being an ecorisQ member demonstrates that you are willing to increase the transparancy and reproducibility of natural hazard analyses and that you promote sustainable protection against natural hazards.  

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On February 8th, 2014, a direct impact of a rockfall on the touristic train de pignes in the southern part of France (Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, ) caused two casualties and one injured person. The two train wagons were derailed by the impact and subsequently retained by trees downslope. More information can be found here (in French).

An impressive rock mass fall occurred on 21 January 2014 in Tramin/Termeno, South Tirol, Italy. Luckily this event did not cause casulaties, but only quite some material damage. A silent witness shows that the event was not a complete surprise. Have a look at the Landslide Blog of Prof. Dave Petley for an interesting photo series of the event.

Amt für Wald und Landschaft, Obwalden

Scientific evidence that forests have a stabilising effect on slopes that are prone to shallow landsliding has been increasing over the last 20 years. Lateral reinforcement by tree roots seems to be the crucial factor here. To facilitate the quantification of the possible stabilising effect of a forest, ecorisQ, in collaboration with Massimiliano Scharz from the Bern University of Applied Sciences developed a rapid assessment tool called SlideforNET, which can be used online for free. Please have a try and if considered appropriate send us your feedback. 

To officially launch the International ecorisQ association, the General Assembly was held on 6 December 2013 in the International Environment House in Geneva, Switzerland. In total, 52 representants from Austria, France, Italy, New Zealand, Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland, Turkey, UK and the US participated at this event. The minutes, as well as the presentations are available for download below.

 

On uncertainty and probability in predicting natural hazard risks using models

Keith Beven (University of Lancaster, UK)

SOSlope – the basis for a new ecorisQ tool for shallow landslide modelling

Massimiliano Schwarz (Bern Univ. of Applied Sciences, CH)

Zemokost – A model for estimating flood events in alpine catchments using design storm values

Karl Kleemayr (BFW, AT)

Rockyfor3D – frequently asked questions explained

Luuk Dorren (Fed. Office for the Env. FOEN, CH)

A reflection on the assessment of geological mass movement hazards in the Swiss daily practice

Bernard Loup (FOEN, CH)

Landslide hazards, bioengineering and risk management: the New Zealand experience

Chris Phillips (Landcare Research, NZ)

An application of Rockyfor3D in the daily practice in Valais, Switzerland

Guillaume Favre-Bulle (Géoval, CH)

The new French guideline for rockfall hazard mapping

Frédéric Berger (IRSTEA, FR)

Minutes of the General Assembly

November 2013: Typhoon Haiyan, 'apocalyptic’ storm flood in Sardinia, tornadoes in the Midwest of the US, heavy flooding in Baghdad, rare flooding in Saudi Arabia. The death toll from one of the strongest storms that ravaged the Philippines reached several thousands. Although the death tolls of the other mentioned events related to extreme weather are much lower, they contribute to a more intensive discussion on climate change and natural hazard related disasters. The facts regarding the losses due to such disasters are clear: there is an increasing trend.

Several factors play a role: the damage potential is increasing (increasing population, more intense use of increasingly dense infrastructure, etc.), building space in areas where natural hazards can be avoided is decreasing and lastly the number of extreme events related to climate change is potentially increasing. The latter can only be proved by long term data series, which for the moment are not available. At least not with the same recording intensity - thanks to the communication means we have today, almost each single falling rock or sliding slope is being described and photographed. What is true, however, is that the global climate is changing, and beacuse of that, it is very likely that we will have to deal with changing patterns and changing intensities of natural events, as well as with an event frequency that will not decrease. In their 2013 report, the Global Facility for Disaster Risk Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) and the World Bank conclude in that it is important to ultimately strengthen disaster resilient development. This includes coordinating institutions, identifying risk hot spots, which means defining hazard scenarios and analysing the risk, defining risk reduction measures, being prepared for extreme events, organising financial and social protection, and promoting resilient reconstruction. Clear progress has been made, but many challenges remain. Click here for more information.

Below: Losses due to catastrophes related to natural hazards (NatCat - MunichRe)