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Swiss join international quake project

The government has approved Swiss participation in the Global Earthquake Model (GEM) which aims to calculates earthquake risk worldwide.

The research project will also evaluate the number of victims and the financial losses, making a cost-benefit analysis for prevention measures, especially in the construction sector.

GEM should be ready in five years’ time and will be an Open Source software, a government statement said. The new system will integrate already existing models, such as those from the United States and Japan.

The Federal Institute of Technology Zurich’s Swiss Seismological Service will be closely involved in the development of the tool.

In Switzerland, the long-term likelihood of having a strong, damaging-causing earthquake has been calculated at one tremor every eight to ten years. The largest quake recorded last century was in Valais in the French-speaking part of Switzerland in 1946.

GEM is a public-private partnership under the auspices of the Global Science Forum of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

swissinfo.ch and agencies

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