Paro, Bhutan – 11th December
A small landlocked country, Bhutan is highly susceptible to natural hazards due to unstable geological conditions, steep terrain, elevation differences, variable climatic conditions and proximity to the seismically active Himalaya mountain range. Hazards include floods, heavy rainfall, landslides, earthquakes, glacial lake outburst floods (GLOF), forest fires, droughts and earthquakes. Several strong earthquakes above magnitude 6.0 have occurred over the past century.
Through the Disaster Preparedness Pilot Project (DPPP), funded by the Swiss Red Cross, ICEM is supporting the Department of Disaster Management address these challenges by improving the country’s capacity and systems on contingency planning and preparedness for earthquakes and seismic risk. Specifically, ICEM will facilitate the development of a contingency plan and standard operating procedures for the operation of the national Emergency Operating Center, the initiation and termination of international assistance, and post-earthquake recovery mechanisms.
On 11th December 2018, ICEM experts facilitated a workshop on risk analysis in Paro, Bhutan. Through a range of participatory working sessions, disaster responders and managers from various government departments developed a detailed hazard, vulnerability and capacity assessment for seismic risk in the country. They also brainstormed various earthquake scenarios, plotted on a risk matrix presenting the different scenarios’ likelihood and potential impact. Both the Seismic Hazard, Vulnerability and Capacity Assessment and the scenarios are major inputs for the national Seismic Risk Contingency Plan, to be developed in the first half of 2019.