UN-Habitat participated in the 2nd Earthquake Forum of Yangon Region


13-14 July 2018, Yangon Technical University, Yangon

According to its geological location, Yangon, Myanmar’s largest city is situated only about 30 kilometers away from the Sagaing fault. The population of Yangon is about 10% of the whole country and city contributes to almost one third of national GDP. Yangon, not only the economic engine of the country but also equally important culturally, has a lot of high rise buildings and also old non-engineering buildings. As a result, there can be a lot of damages in today’s scenario if a large scale earthquake strikes. Therefore, it is off immense importance that Yangon take proactive action to prepare itself to reduce the existing vulnerability and risk and prevent generation of new risk through effective enforcement of rules and regulations.

After 01st “Earthquake Forum” in 2016 which have drawn a lot of attention by Government, development partners and communities, 2nd Earthquake Forum of Yangon was held on 13-14th July 2018 in Yangon Technology University under the leadership of  Yangon Regional Government and Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement, supported by various development partners and funded by ECHO. First day was more oriented towards research and new development on earthquake issues involving  paper reading and technical experts panel discussion, and second day was mostly focused on the progress made since last earthquake forum, updates on ongoing earthquake related work including panel discussion on “How to make Yangon a Resilient City”. Earthquake forum has been a well-coordinated event in Yangon to map the ongoing effort, to improve the coordination among partners, review the progress made and to identify the new challenges to be addressed.

U Tin Maung Tun, Speaker of Yangon Region Hluttaw delivered the opening speak after that Deputy Minister of Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement, permanent secretary, U Soe Aung delivered the welcome remark to start the forum with productive discussions.

UN-Habitat participated in the 2nd Earthquake Forum as co-organizers and involved in management team and also displayed earthquake awareness booth where UN-Habitat publications on earthquake and related subjects along with 2 shake table were demonstrated. Booth was visited by dignitaries and many participants in 2 days forum. Particularly earthquake shake table draws lot of attraction as this is considered to be simple but very effective earthquake awareness tool specially when most of the people do not have any experience of severe earthquake shaking and probable damage.

UN-Habitat has been working on earthquake risk reduction and management program in the country since 2012 and has contributed in developing the Seismic Hazard Profile of Myanmar, Probabilistic Seismic Hazard Assessment of Yangon, Bago, Sagain, Pyay and Taungoo, Earthquake Risk Assessment of Bago, Sagain, Pyay and Taungoo, Earthquake Safe Construction Tips, Earthquake Manual, Guideline on Rapid Visual Screening (RVS) of Buildings, Guideline on Seismic Evaluation and Retrofitting (Draft), RVS of 60 lifeline buildings in Yangon, Contingency Plan for Earthquake in 2 townships of Yangon, capacity building support through training on “Disaster Management (Basic Level)”, Earthquake Risk Management, Rapid Visual Screening, Detailed Vulnerability Assessment and Retrofitting, Post Disaster Rapid Damage Assessment Using Earth Observation Technology and Shake table demonstration, public awareness program on earthquake preparedness and safe construction practices etc.