On Tuesday 25 February the Russian Centre for Science and Culture in Bethlehem, in cooperation with the Urban Planning and Disaster Risk Reduction Centre (UPDRRC)/ Earth Sciences and Seismic Engineering held a lecture on “Disaster Risk Mitigation in Palestine”. Dr Jalal Al- Dabbeek, the Director of the UPDRRC spoke to the audience about the history of earthquakes, reason for their occurrence and impact in relation to public safety.
Mr Mu’tasem Mu’ammar, Director of Public Relations at the Russian Centre for Sciences and Culture, welcomed the attendees and thanked Dr Jalal Dabbeek, Director of the UPDRRC and Vice President of the National Authority for Disaster Risk Reduction.
Dr Dabbeek opened the lecture introducing the Seismic Risk Mitigation in Palestine Project (SASPARM- FP7 Project). He then talked about seismic activity and why it occurs. He spoke about the earthquake causes, movements and seismicity of Palestine. He emphasised that the magnitude of an earthquake is not always an indicator of its impact. Its impact is due to the level of readiness of society, governmental agencies and individuals, including residential places, public service facilities and infrastructure. Dr Dabbeek talked about the trends in common buildings in Palestine highlighting which types of these building are considered of high seismic risk.
The lecture also included an elaboration on the main factors that control risk and losses, the evaluation of the risks of disasters in general and earthquakes in particular.
In the last part of the lecture, he talked about risk maps, how to prepare them, and how to run a rapid assessment of possible damage to buildings and infrastructures according to the European Macro- Seismic Scale (Ems-98).
Mr Sergie Shabovalov, head of the Russian Centre for Science and Culture thanked Dr Dabbeek and An-Najah National University for their efforts and cooperation, and appreciated the lecture which described as being an important and first lecture that can be followed by others of its kind. Dr Dabbeek thanked Mr Shabovalov and explained the importance of the cooperation to make such events and activities that the scientific centers at An-Najah National University usually organize with civil society organizations to raise public awareness on this vital issue, and concluded by inviting Mr Shabovalov to visit the university .
1. The event was attended by representatives of governmental and non-governmental organisations, the Russian-speaking Alumni Association, the Coordinating council for Russian Citizens in Palestine and local media.
2. SASPARM projectaims to educate the public and disseminate awareness on earthquakes’ risks and mechanism for maintaining public safety of citizens.
3. The Project is sponsored by the EU within the FP7 projects and in partnership with the European Centre for Seismic Engineering and IUSS University Pavia, Italy.