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Central Asia

Earthquake Hazard

Putting together a catalogue

Currently the regional catalogue features about 5500 events with M>4 and about 1500 events with M>5 

Development of harmonised seismic source zonation

After 17 year, in 2012 a new zonation was developed, based on zonations in each of the five countries.


Site effects estimations

High resolution site effect estimation by applying cluster analysis to earthquake and seismic noise data, from Bishkek, Dushanbe as well as Karakol and Korogh.

Data for Seismic Hazard Modelling

Seismic Sources Model

Where? Entire region
Source? local zonations for each country + Soviet zonation of 1995. Agreed upon during a Hazard workshop in Bishkek 2012.

Faults model

Where? Entire region
Source? Trifonov 2002

Earthquake catalogue

What? 33620 events between 2000-2009
Source? KNDC (KZ)

Seismic conditions of Tajikistan

What? reports on seismic conditions, engineering geology, hydrology and micro-seismicity, ambient noise, maps of soil types
Source? Institute of Geology, Earthquake Engineering and Seismology (IGEES)

Exposure and Physical Vulnerability

Building classification

Currently for vulnerability estimation of the existing building stock different classifications are used in different countries; therefore a re-classification took place for EMS-98.

  • Kazakhstan: 43 types
  • Kyrgyzstan: 10 groups and 21 sub-groups,
  • Tajikistan:19 types
  • Turkmenistan: 9 types
  • Uzbekistan: 20 types

Regional Building Taxonomy

Based on the GEM Building Taxonomy

Multiscale exposure estimation

Rapid visual survey (RVS) allows for a reasonable first assessment of exposure and vulnerability. By coupling remote sensing with in-sity imaging, RVS can be optimised for large areas.

Read more on in-situ sampling and data collection in Pittore & Wieland (Natural Hazards 2012).

A special EMCA remote survey tool is being developed, which is able to combine multiple imaging sources and techniques.


RVS building inventory

Where? Bishkek, Dushanbe, Turkmenbashi, Ashgabat
What? 1400 buildings, 2700 buildings (xy coordinates) and 731 buildings (address)
Source? IntUIT from Bishkek, IGEES from Dushanbe and ISRC from Turkmenistan and Ashgabat 

Exposure information from ground-based imaging (in situ)
Exposure information from satellite images

Where? Bishkek, Jalalabad, Osh (Kyrgyzstan), Ashgabat, Dushanbe, Khorog (Tajikistan), Khorog (Kazachstan), Tashkent (Uzbekistan), Kabul (Afghanistan)
What? Remote RVS survey from omnidirectional images following GEM Taxonomy V1.0
What? Building types, construction dates, location, footprints, numbers of buildings, population distribution
Source? GFZ

Composite models of building-types and EMS-98 vulnerability (urban-rural)

Where? Major towns in Central Asia (Bishkek, Karasuu, Kara-Jygach, Jumgal, Almaty, Ashgabat, Dushanbe, Khujand, Kulab, Istravshan, Kurgan-Tyube, Isfara, Kanibadam, Khorog, etc.)
Source? IntUIT from Bishkek and IGEES from Dushanbe

Population data, built-up areas

Where? Entire region
What? Gridded population and built-up area data and 15910 towns (xy coordinates)

Local building code with translation to GEM Basic Building Taxonomy V1.0

Where? Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and likely Uzbekistan
Source? IntUIT from Bishkek, IGEES from Dushanbe and ISRC from Ashgabat

>> An Inventory composition model for Central Asia was provided to the Global Exposure Database team

Who is involved


  • University of Kabul, Department of Geosciences, Kabul


  • LLC Institute of Seismology (IOS), Almaty
  • Kazakhstan National Nuclear Center, Institute of Geophysical Research
  • Center for Acquisition and Processing of Special Seismic Information (KNDC), Almaty                            


  • Central-Asian Institute for Applied Geosciences (CAIAG), Bishkek
  • Kyrgyzstan Institute of Seismology (KIS), Bishkek
  • Kyrgyzstan International University for Innovation Technologies, Bishkek
  • Kyrgyzstan Kyrgyz State University of Construction, Transportation and Architecture, Bishkek


  • Institute of Earthquake Engineering and Seismology (IEES), Dushanbe


  • Institute of Seismology and Earthquake Engineering, Ashgabat
  • Turkmenistan Scientific Res. Ins. of Seismic-resistance Const., Ashgabat       


  • Institute of Seismology of Academy of Sciences of Republic of Uzbekistan, Tashkent
  • Uzbekistan Turin University, Tashkent

Training, workshops and knowledge exchange

  • Stay and research of Arstanbek Duisheev, a scientist from Kyrgyzstan; funded by DAAD (Potsdam, January-February 2011)
  • Training of Central Asian scientists on the use of the OpenQuake Engine; in cooperation with the GEM Model Facility (Potsdam, February 2012)
  • Workshop in Bishkek about Seismic vulnerability in Kyrgyzstan (March 2012)
  • Workshop in Bishkek for defining an harmonized seismic zone model for Central Asia; in cooperation with SHARE (June 2012)
  • Workshop in Bishkek on the use of GIS systems for vulnerability data set management (September 2012)
  • Training on OpenQuake Tools during the course “Regional Cross-Border Early Warning Systems for GeoRisks in Central Asia” for Central Asian scientists; in cooperation with GIZ and the GEM-Model Facility (Potsdam, November 2012)
  • Stay and research of Dr. Jafar Niyazov, a scientist from Tajikistan; funded by DAAD (Potsdam, September-December 2012)


Building Partnerships

From the left: Dr. B. Moldobekov, Dr. S. Parolai, the Minister of Emergencyo Situations of Kazakhstan  B. V. Karpovich





In addition to the establishment of Memorandi of Understanding, the following activities took place:

  • Several meetings in Kyrgyzstan and in Kazakhstan to strengthening collaboration
  • Meetings with the Kyrgyz Minister of Emergency Situations
  • In Kazakhstan, several meetings with the Director of IS, the KNDC, the deputy director of the MES in Almaty and the deputy general director of the KAZNISSA
  • Meeting with the Minister of Emergency Situations of Kazakhstan
  • A meeting with the World Bank in Kyrgyzstan to establish a partnership with EMCA within the framework of earthquake risk assessment in the country
  • Meeting with UNISDR in Bishkek
  • Meeting in Potsdam with the directors of the partners’ institutes of Tajikistan and Turkmenistan
  • Round table meeting with representatives of the Uzbek Embassy in Germany
  • Meetings with the Institute of Geology of the RAS in Moscow and with the Geophysical Survey of the RAS

How can I collaborate?

  • We are very much interested to hear from any organisation in the region that is working on seismid hazard and risk
  • We look forward to your comments on the work carried out so far
  • You can use our publications, please do link back to us
  • For any other idea, request or question you can contact us

Write Stefano Parolai, EMCA programme coordinator


Planned for 2013

  • Harmonised seismic hazard model for Central Asia
  • Analysis for the site response in hot spot areas
  • Completion of the Vulnerability model for Central Asia
  • Risk scenarios for hot spot areas