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During the last century, a great number of devastating earthquakes occurred in the western Balkan region, causing a great number of casualties and substantial structural damage. The consequences of such large scaled earthquakes may be more severe these days due to the increase in urban population density and intensive construction in the last two decades. Therefore, it is of great importance to assess the seismic hazard properly, raise public awareness and improve disaster planning and management in the whole region.

 

In September 2007, the BSHAP was launched with the main objective of preparing new seismic hazard maps of the region using modern scientific methodologies that will ensure harmonization within the region as well as with the European standards. Another important objective of the BSHAP was improving the scientific collaboration between the project partners to assure an important step towards preparedness and prevention activities in disaster management. During BSHAP, the national Seismic Monitoring Networks of participating countries were significantly improved by the purchased and installed accelerometers. background-seismic

An initial BSHAP earthquake catalogue was created by integrating the national catalogues of the participants. Seismic hazard software, OHAZ, was developed by the project participants for analyzing the hazard due to seismic sources in the region and initial seismic hazard maps were prepared using the compiled catalogue and developed software. During the four-year execution phase of the project, the scientific collaborations between the participants were warranted by organizing project meetings, coordinating workshops for young researchers in participating countries, and preparing data exchange protocols.

The motivation behind proposing this follow-up project is to improve the seismic hazard studies that were held under the framework of BSHAP. The main goals to achieve on the course of the new project are; (i) improvement in the initial harmonized seismic hazard maps of the participating countries by implementing state-of-the art probabilistic seismic hazard assessment techniques and the outputs of the BSHAP project, (ii) integration of improved seismic hazard maps with the ongoing seismic hazard studies in Europe and surrounding countries, and (iii) collaboration and exchange of information between the participating country scientific communities and earthquake professionals around the world. To this end, the recently deployed seismic stations, seismic data exchange protocols, earthquake catalogue and hazard studies conducted by the BSHAP participants will be brought to a more enhanced level with the opportunities provided by the new project.