A Regional seminar with the participation of Japanese experts on Earthquick Safety is completed

During the period from April 16 to April 19, 2024 4-day seminar on Earthquake Risk Reduction and Management with the participation of Japanese seismic safety experts was held in Almaty on the basis of the Center.

This event was organized by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) together with the Center, with the support of the Kazakh State Research and Design Institute in Construction (KazRICA), National Scientific Center for Seismological Observations and Research of the Ministry for Emergency Situations of the Republic of Kazakhstan (NSCSOR), Kazakhstan Agency of International Development (KazAID) under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Embassy of Japan in the Republic of Kazakhstan.

The participation of representatives from emergency authorities, local government of Almaty city, scientific and educational institutions, earthquake-resistant construction and seismic safety organizations of Central Asian and the Caucasus countries (Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan) made it possible to exchange experiences and transfer knowledge on earthquake risk reduction and management.

Chairman of the Kazakhstan Agency of International Development "KazAID" Arken Arystanov expressed deep gratitude to the seminar organizers for a unique opportunity to gather together and discuss the common challenge of preventing natural disasters, which requires closer cooperation between various parties, expanding joint regional actions and finding solutions to the  most global problems.

The head of the Department for Emergency Situations of Almaty, colonel Nurlan Atygaev, highlighted relevance of the seminar after the recent 5-magnitide seismic events that occurred on January 23 and March 4 of the current year in Almaty, which contributed to the development of appropriate measures and a review of existing approaches to the seismic safety. Thus, the “Comprehensive Plan for the Development of the Seismological sector for 2024-2028” has been revised, which provides for the modernization and overhaul of all seismic stations of the Almaty seismological site (the plan is under consideration by the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan). Based on the experience of foreign countries, including Japan, efforts are underway to introduce an automated early warning system for strong earthquakes in Almaty, which is designed to automatically receive a signal about the approach of a destructive seismic wave to the city and to timely alert the population through a mobile application and city’s siren-voice devices.

Managing Director of KazRICA Yeraly Shokbarov and Director of the National Scientific Center for Seismological Observations and Research of the Ministry for Emergency Situations of the Republic of Kazakhstan Daulet Sarsenbayev expressed gratitude to the delegations of scientists from different countries, both near and far abroad, for their interest in this seminar, for their active participation and submitted reports, which will make a significant contribution to the development of seismological science, integrated seismic monitoring, and earthquake warning systems. Of course, solving these problems is relevant not only for Kazakhstan and Japan, but also for other countries where seismic hazard problems exist.

Director of the Center for Emergency Situations and Disaster Risk Reduction Serik Aubakirov emphasized the need to establish a Central Asian system of early warning for transboundary emergencies, which is an integral part of ensuring security and effective response to various threats. The creation of this system will ensure a coordinated and rapid response to threats that may affect several countries, and will also help strengthen security and contribute to overall stability in the region.

On April 19, the third session of the seminar was attended by His Excellency the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to the Republic of KazakhstanJun YAMADA. In his welcoming speech, Mr. Jun YAMADA thanked the organizers of the seminar and assured that the Japanese government will continue to support the countries of Central Asia and the Caucasus in increasing resilience to earthquakes through technical assistance, expert support in the development of innovative technologies and knowledge transfer, taking into account the significant experience of Japan in this area.

During the event, participants discussed:

1)     Seismic vulnerability of existing buildings and structures in Almaty as part of certification;

2)     Technical prospects for seismic isolation and its global experience;

3)     Future areas of possible cooperation in seismic engineering;

4)     Japan's Disaster Management Strategies;

5)     Recent earthquakes in Almaty (Kazakhstan) and Noto (Japan);

6)     Earthquake early warning systems in Japan and Kazakhstan;

7)     Education and awareness in disaster risk reduction and cooperation with the private sector, using the example of the National Emergency Management Agency in Mongolia.

The seminar was held in an interactive format, which allowed participants to exchange experience and up-to-date information in this area.

Following the seminar, participants expressed the need to expand international cooperation in seismic safety and joint activities, such as vibration dynamic testing and certification of buildings and structures.

A number of trilateral meetings took place during the event.

On April 18, a meeting of the Director of the Center S.Aubakirov. with Deputy Director General of the Department for East and Central Asia of JICA mr. Masayoshi Takehara and chairman "KazAID" mr. Arystanov A.K was held where issues of further cooperation were discussed.

On April 19, a meeting was held between the Director of the Center and His Excellency the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to the Republic of Kazakhstan Jun YAMADA, Deputy Director General of the Department for East and Central Asia, JICA Masayoshi Takehara. At the meeting, the director of the Center expressed gratitude to His Excellency Jun Yamadu for the honor bestowed and emphasized that his participation in the seminar confirms the interest of the Government of Japan in assisting the countries of Central Asia and the Caucasus in solving common problems to ensure peace and stability in the region. He highlighted that such initiatives enable the dissemination of Japan's knowledge and experience in earthquake response and recovery.

As a result of the event, according to the proposals of the participants, a Resolution was adopted, the content of which confirms the relevance of convergence and harmonization of earthquake-resistant construction standards, conducting a series of full-scale vibration-dynamic tests in the countries of the Central Asian and Caucasus regions based on the experience of Kazakhstan, and also provides for the further development of cooperation between the countries of the region to ensure seismic safety. In addition, against the backdrop of the flood situation in Kazakhstan, the participants resumed a dialogue on the relevance of establishing a Coordination Center for Emergency Response and Humanitarian Assistance in Central Asia based at the Center.

The Center expresses gratitude to all partners for their active assistance and direct participation in the preparation, organization and conducting the seminar aimed at strengthening security and stability in the region in conditions of seismic threat.