Home » Morocco opens up to Japan’s experience in monitoring earthquakes and resilience to disasters

Morocco opens up to Japan’s experience in monitoring earthquakes and resilience to disasters

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Morocco opens up to Japan’s experience in monitoring earthquakes and resilience to disasters

About six months after the painful Al Haouz earthquake, signs of Moroccan interest in developing scientific research directed at seismic activity began to appear. Last Friday, the project “Enhancing Earthquake Monitoring in Morocco” was launched, in coordination between the Ministry of Higher Education, the State of Japan, UNESCO, and the National Center for Scientific and Technical Research.

This project aims to assess seismic risks in the Kingdom and enhance their prevention, while strengthening the level of preparedness of the local population and enhancing their ability to withstand during natural disasters, provided that these goals are in line with the strategic directions of the national plan to accelerate the transformation of the higher education, scientific research and innovation system.

In this way, last February, UNESCO announced support for Morocco with the aim of strengthening its capabilities to possess earthquake warning tools and enhancing its ability to withstand natural disasters, with support from Japan, with 9 million dirhams.

Experts who spoke to Hespress explained that “coordinating with Japan in the field of earthquake monitoring is a correct decision, given that this country is a global reference in this field; “This will enable the Kingdom to strengthen and develop its national system for tracking seismic activity,” explaining that “what is required is more attention to scientific research in the field of natural disasters.”

Scientific research in confronting natural disasters

Nasser Jabour, Director of the National Institute of Geophysics, confirmed that “the project aims primarily to strengthen the seismic monitoring network in the High Atlas region, in addition to training technicians in this field and seeking to raise the level of awareness among individuals regarding what they must do during periods in which seismic waves occur.” “The recent earthquake was a surprise to everyone.”

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Jabour explained, in a statement to Hespress, that “coordination with UNESCO in this project is due to the fact that the latter is an organization with experience in different regions of the world; While the coordination with Japan is mainly due to the fact that Tokyo has great experience in monitoring earthquakes and tracking their activity, it is mainly known for seismic activity, which makes it a real partner with which we can coordinate in this context, provided that we try to benefit from its experience and expertise.”

The spokesman stated, “During this project, which extends for a full year, various aspects related to studying and tracking earthquakes in the Kingdom will be reviewed; By taking into account the legal and technical aspects, modern devices and equipment will be imported from Japan that can save citizens a margin of time to escape the repercussions of earthquakes when they occur.”

Regarding the steps that must be taken with regard to preparing the infrastructure, the Director of the National Institute of Geophysics revealed that “it is expected that the national seismic monitoring network will be strengthened and its coverage rate will be increased, provided that this will be accompanied by campaigns to educate individuals about what they need to do during times of disasters, in addition to Moving towards in-depth studies of types of anti-seismic construction, with the development of monitoring devices.”

Japan reference

Nasr al-Din al-Youbi, an expert at the National Center for Scientific and Technical Research and a university professor at the Semlalia Faculty of Sciences in Marrakesh, explained that “coordination with Japan in this project is extremely important, considering that the latter has accumulated great experience and expertise in the field of monitoring and tracking seismic activities, as it remains Living with this type of disaster all year round; “This is a positive thing for Morocco.”

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Al-Youbi recorded, in a statement to Hespress, that “the announced project is directed primarily to the Al Haouz region as a first step with the aim of developing its infrastructure prepared for the purpose of tracking seismic activity, in addition to starting sensitization and awareness campaigns for the benefit of citizens regarding various ways of dealing with this type of natural disasters the moment they occur.” He pointed out that “the project will be an opportunity to benefit from the knowledge of Japanese experts.”

In this way, the same speaker stated that “there is a lack of scientific research in Morocco on the subject of the earthquake, as we have cadres, frameworks, and human resources; But we lack a policy to take advantage of these energies, which remain distributed among a number of national institutions, including the Ministry of Higher Education and the Ministry of Energy Transition and Sustainable Development, in addition to the National Institute of Geophysics, as well as the National Center for Scientific and Technical Research and other institutions.”

The Moroccan academic concluded that these institutions remain invited to dialogue sessions in order to theorize the possibility of establishing an independent national institution concerned with scientific research tasks on the subject of earthquakes, provided that this institution or center has sufficient financial funds and is granted sufficient and qualified human resources to carry out the tasks entrusted to it.

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