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Assistance to Self Help in Case of Earthquakes

International Seismological Training Course at the GFZ Potsdam

On Monday, 6th August 2007, an international training course for seismology and assessment of earthquake hazards started at the GFZ Potsdam, Germany's national lab for geosciences. 25 participants from 24 countries will be trained by GFZ experts during the next five week. The themes cover a wide range of disciplines from seimology to computer assisted analysis of earthquake recordings, precise determination of magnitudes, calculation and assessment of earthquake risks in urban regions. A total of 124 applications from 55 countries had been submitted - an indicator for the global need for these specialized courses.

"These courses that are offered by GFZ Potsdam are part of the UNESCO education programme in the field of geosciences and hazard prevention and transmit theoretical basics as well as practical knowledge", explains Professeor Reinhard Hüttl, Scientific Executive Board of the GFZ. "These courses aim in particular at scientists, engineers and specialists that work in the field of seismology. In this way the specialists from the participating countries will be prepared for their future tasks in prevention and management of catastrophes in their home countries."

The GFZ Potsdam, a Helmholtz Centre, provides these courses annually. They are an important part of global knowledge transfer and cooperation with developing countries that are exposed to seismological hazards. The 2007 course is financed by GFZ Potsdam with additional funding by the German Foreign Ministry, InWent Berlin, Unesco Paris, and the DPPI (Disaster Preparedness and Prevention Initiative, Sarajewo).

The courses take place each year, alternately abroad and in Potsdam . The lecturers for this year's course come from the GFZ Potsdam and they are assisted by colleagues from other German and European research institutions. This year, the course is being held in the new school and education lab GEOLAB of the GFZ on Potsdam's Telegraph Hill.

Within the framework of the German-Indonesian cooperation of the Tsunami early Warning System (GITEWS) further special courses on seismology and tsunami hazards will follow in Indonesia.

Franz Ossing | alfa
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