20 May 2016

The GFDRR ThinkHazard! tool

Posted by dr-dave

The GFDRR ThinkHazard! tool

Yesterday the new GFDRR ThinkHazard tool was launched.  This is a new web based system for developing countries that allows a basic assessment of hazard across a range of perils on a geographical basis.  The GFDRR description is as follows:

The Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) has created a new online tool for the development community, which enables non-experts to consider natural hazard information in project design. ThinkHazard! has been developed by GFDRR’s Innovation Lab, in collaboration with BRGM (the French geological survey), Camptocamp, and Deltares. Many other organizations and individuals have contributed data sets and expert input into information provided in the tool.

ThinkHazard! is a simple and quick, yet robust, analytical tool that enables a development specialist to determine for a given project location, the potential likelihood of eight natural hazards, and what actions they should take to make their project resilient. The tool analyzes hazard under current climate but also provides guidance from IPCC on how climate change may affect hazard frequency and intensity into the future.

This is the range of hazards that the tool covers:

 

I made a minor contribution to this project by writing the recommendations for the landslide part of the tool, and by benchmarking the results against the global landslide database that Melanie and I manage.

This is an example of the hazard maps that the tool can generate:

ThinkHazard!

An example of a Thinkhazard! map, in this case for Indonesia

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High hazard in this case is in red, etc.  However, the tool does allow a higher level of detail, down to the district level.  This is a district level map for Nepal for example:

ThinkHazard!

ThinkHazard! map for landslide hazard at the district level in Central Nepal

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For each level of hazard there are a set of recommendations as to how to go about determining the level of threat and to manage it.  My sense is that this is an incredibly useful tool to both raise awareness of the likelihood of natural hazards in poor countries and to provide mechanisms to their mitigation.  It is an impressive achievement.