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Disaster Management and Science

11.10.2012 | Potsdam: Today, 12 October 2012, the GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences and the Federal Agency for Technical Relief THW signed a cooperation agreement on the occasion of the "International Day of Disaster Reduction". The goal is to enhance cooperative efforts in the prevention of natural hazards and in disaster management. A particular focus lies on data and information exchange as well as intensifying the education and training of staff at a national and international level. In addition, there will be a mutual support in the use of infrastructure in the field.

"There is already a good cooperation with respect to disasters such as earthquakes, tsunami or volcanic eruptions", says Professor Reinhard Huettl, chairman of the GFZ and Vice President of the Helmholtz Association. "The geosciences are crucially important for the assessment of geohazards and the potential impact of natural hazards." Albrecht Broemme, president of the THW, adds: "The THW is an important partner in the training in disaster management and in managing the consequences of natural hazards. The signed cooperation shows that the team work of researchers and executors in disaster prevention is improving steadily." One goal of this work is the megacity Istanbul, which is critically endangered by earthquakes.

As the National Research Centre for Geosciences, the GFZ (Helmholtz Association) is active worldwide to explore the "System Earth" with all the geological, physical, chemical and biological processes that take place within the earth and on the surface.

The THW is the operational organization for civil protection of the Federal Republic of Germany and is carried to 99 percent by voluntary workers. It is a partner for firefighters, police and other institutions in Germany, Europe and worldwide. The THW is part of the German contribution to the European Community procedures for coordinated disaster protection and provides technical and humanitarian assistance on an international level.

Both institutions are members of the German Committee for Disaster Reduction DKKV.

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