A Resilient Future: Science and Technology for Disaster Risk Reduction | EPFLx on edX

A Resilient Future: Science and Technology for Disaster Risk Reduction | EPFLx on edX


[MUSIC PLAYING] SILVIA HOSTETTLER: Disasters
linked to natural hazards happen everywhere in
the world, and they are very likely to increase in the future. Between 1994 and 2013,
earthquakes caused 750,000 deaths and affected 121 million people. Economic damages are
estimated at $660 billion. While floods kill less people, 160,000,
it affected over 2.4 billion people. During the same period,
landslides led to 18,000 deaths, affecting six million people and leading
to economic damages of $4.3 billion US dollars. Rapid urbanization is leading to an
increased proportion of people at risk, especially in coastal areas. In addition, more than half
of the world’s largest cities are facing high risk from earthquakes. Science and technology can help prevent
and reduce the potential consequences of natural hazards. They can help build
resilience of communities and lead to more
sustainable development. Investments and the use
of science and technology have proven to be effective in reducing
the impacts of natural hazards. For example, in 1991,
138,000 people were killed by a Category 4 cyclone in Bangladesh. Later, investments were made in
enbankments, protective mangrove planting, early warning, risk
awareness and contingency planning, and the construction
of cyclone shelters. In 2007, when a Category 5 cyclone hit
Bangladesh again, loss of human life was reduced 26 times and
limited to 5,000 casualties. The MOOC “A Resilient Future: Science
and Technology for Disaster Risk Reduction,” developed by EPFL, aims to
introduce you to existing and emerging technologies in DRR while
promoting the overall goal of sustainable development. This MOOC covers the main
DRR topics– risk assessment, prevention, preparedness
and early warning, disaster response and emergency
relief, reconstruction, and resilience-building. We will focus on three main hazards–
floods, landslides, and earthquakes. I am Dr. Sylvia Hostettler,
Deputy Director of the Cooperation and Development Center at the EPFL. Using case studies examples in videos,
invited guest speakers, EPLF lecturers, and myself, we’ll discuss the
potential benefits, the challenges, and the limitations of using new science
and technology in DRR in developed and developing countries. I hope you will join this course to
learn more about science and technology for disaster risk reduction. I would also like to invite you to
share your experience in science and technology and DRR with
me and the other course participants via the online forum. I am looking forward to our discussions,
and I hope you will enjoy this course.

Danny Hutson

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