Algeria has experienced a number of destructive earthquakes, most notably the 1980 El Asnam (Chlef), 1989 Tipasa-Chenoua, and 2003 Zemmouri-Boumerdes earthquakes. Such earthquakes cause a large number of fatalities and casualties, damage or destroy a large number of buildings, and cause extensive damage to lifelines such as roads, railroads, port facilities, pipelines, water and wastewater infrastructure, electrical power and telecommunications networks, etc., resulting in substantial social and economic losses.
Reducing the risk of future earthquake losses requires implementing a sustained, comprehensive disaster risk management program that reduces the vulnerability of the built environment through sound design, construction and land use practices, upgrades the earthquake resiliency of existing essential buildings and critical facilities, puts in place policies and procedures that limit the possibility of sub-standard construction and infrastructure being produced, and enhances the disaster response through adequate preparedness.
Algeria is also exposed to other natural hazards (e.g. floods) and to technological hazards (e.g. oil spills).
In December 2010 and September 2011, members of the AAF Disaster Risk Management Group met with their counterparts in Algeria to discuss possible cooperative projects. Six projects were identified as essential. Detailed proposals specifying the objectives, the scope, the methodology, the research team, the schedule, and the required resources for the six projects were prepared, discussed, agreed upon and submitted for consideration and possible funding by the Algerian “Direction Générale de la Recherche Scientifique et du Dévelopment Technologique”:
1. Seismic Hazard Map
2. Evaluation of the Algerian Earthquake Resistant Design Code (RPA)
3. Confined Masonry and Reinforced Masonry
4. Conferences on Risk Management
5. Certification Program the American Concrete Institute (ACI)
6. Master Plan of Algiers
At this time, the AAF Disaster Risk Management Group is comprised of the following members:
Abdeljelil Belarbi, Ph.D. (University of Houston)
Fouad Bendimerad, Ph.D. (Earthquake and Megacities)
Amar Chaker, Ph.D. (ASCE)
Omar Khemici, Ph.D. (EQECAT)
Abdelouahab Aitouche, Ph.D. (NIH)
Said Salah Mars, Ph.D. (URS Corporation) recently joined the group.
The group’s counterparts in Algeria are:
Dr. Mohamed Belazougui, Director CGS
Dr. Abdelkarim Yelles-Chaouche (CRAAG)
Dr. Djilali Benouar (USTHB)