Uzbekistan earthquake centre is first of its kind in Central Asia

Jan 22, 2015

Women in Uzbekistan. Thousands of peope will get training on preparing and reacting to earthquakes at the region's first earthquake simulation centre. photo: UNDP Uzbekistan

Tashkent, Uzbekistan - A new earthquake simulation centre in the Uzbek capital is set to help thousands of people better prepare and respond to earthquakes. The first of its kind in Central Asia, it will host trainings for officials and the public on quake proof construction, structural refitting and what to do when quakes hit.

“Preparing for disasters before they happen can save lives, minimize damage and save money” said Stefan Priesner, UN Resident Coordinator in Uzbekistan.

“We can’t control when earthquakes hit, but we can control how we prepare and respond to them. Through training, education and awareness raising, the new centre will play a key role in that”.

Earthquakes are a major risk in Uzbekistan. Small tremors are frequent - and the last major quake destroyed 78,000 homes and left 300,000 people homeless in 1966. As memories from the huge quake fade, the complex will remind and educate the public on the dangers.

Located in the national Institute for Civil Protection of the ministry of Emergency Situations. The complex includes a living room-like shaking quake simulator and museum that is split into four sections, covering why quakes occur, the history of earthquakes in Central Asia and worldwide, tools and techniques to reduce damage and emergency response, including dealing with injuries, search and rescue and longer term reconstruction.

The complex was launched as part of a broader programme of cooperation between UNDP and Uzbekistan’s Ministry of Emergency Situations on disaster risk reduction. It includes training and outreach on disaster preparedness to schools across and the media.  The overall project budget is 2.3 million U.S. Dollars, including over 500,000 from the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection Department (DG-ECHO)

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