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Latest Earthquake | Chat Share
Much of the Earth’s population lives under threat of geologic hazards, including shaking, landslides, liquefaction, and tsunami. The USGS and USAID Earthquake Disaster Assistance Team (EDAT) strives to assist foreign partners, upon their request, with seismic hazard identification and monitoring and to support them as they take the lead in mitigating these hazards in their respective countries. EDAT team members stand ready to address science and data collection activities including paleoseismology and ground rupture, tsunami source characterization, network seismology, geological engineering and ground failure, strong-motion instrumentation, geodesy, seismic hazard assessment, and education and outreach. Formed in 2009, EDAT was co-founded by the USGS and USAID’s Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (now the Bureau of Humanitarian Assistance (BHA)).
EDAT works in the background with counterparts on issues they have identified as priorities for earthquake disaster risk reduction. EDAT deployments occur only after invitations from counterpart countries and upon approval from USGS and USAID. EDAT participates in both capacity-building and response activities.
Capacity Building and Training
The Earthquake Disaster Assistance Team draws scientists from across the USGS and BHA to work on international capacity building and response activities. These scientists have diverse specialties and areas of expertise, including: paleoseismology and fault rupture, network seismology, geological engineering, seismic instrumentation, geodesy, seismic hazard assessment, remote sensing, landslides and liquefaction (ground failure), tsunami studies, and education and outreach.
Examples of EDAT Capacity-Building Projects (and Principal Investigator)
Following a damaging earthquake, with support from USAID, USGS scientists may deploy immediately to the affected area following the most critical period of humanitarian response in order to support local counterparts as they assess continued seismic threats to their residents. The USGS maintains a core group of scientists with various expertise, as previously listed, who can deploy on short notice. Among these are scientists who may be assigned the role of lead coordinator and the primary point of contact with USAID/BHA, the USGS International Program office, the USGS Earthquake Hazards Program, and various science centers within USGS. Each specific activity requires an invitation from the local geological or government agency requesting assistance, a short statement of work, and approval from USAID/BHA.
Examples of EDAT rapid response:
To coordinate with agencies outside of the USGS that may respond to earthquake disasters, the USGS maintains liaisons with other earthquake-related agencies and organizations. The USGS has a dedicated point of contact to the Global Earthquake Model Foundation, the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI) and its National Science Foundation-funded Learning from Earthquakes Program, and to the Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology (IRIS) Consortium for effectively engaging the academic seismology community and tapping the IRIS Rapid Array Mobilization Program, which maintains seismic instrumentation available for deployment following a significant earthquake. USGS maintains relationships with technical non-governmental organizations that may already be active in country. All USGS liaisons coordinate with the USAID/BHA Geoscience Advisors, who are USGS scientists that work directly with BHA staff.
EDAT works closely with scientists involved in other geohazard capacity building and response activities, including the Landslide Disaster Assistance Team (LDAT) and the Volcano Disaster Assistance Program (VDAP)." and linking to both the LDAT and VDAP webpages, respectively.
What does USGS do?
EDAT team members stand ready to assist counterparts with addressing a variety of scientific topics, including paleoseismology and fault rupture (training, assessments of recurrence history, mapping), network seismology (training, network analysis), geological engineering and ground failure (training and reconnaissance assessments), strong-motion instrumentation (site-response studies, damage evaluation, training), geodesy (training, network analysis/installation), seismic hazard assessment (training and evaluation), tsunami studies (training on tsunami processes, paleotsunami studies, inundation mapping, often in collaboration with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) and education and outreach. These capabilities are subject to USGS and USAID/BHA approval and availability of funds.
International Work Ensure Readiness at Home
EDAT strengthens the USGS Earthquake Hazards Program and the Nation's disaster risk reduction capabilities in numerous ways. By participating in foreign seismic capacity building and response:
Through EDAT, the USGS earns credibility, worldwide recognition, and otherwise unobtainable experience, observations, and data. USGS provides the technical experts to address seismic disaster risk reduction issues worldwide, but EDAT would be impossible without the infrastructure, personnel, and financial support provided by USAID/BHA. This unique program is a critical element of global geologic disaster risk reduction. In addition to EDAT, USGS and USAID/BHA also support the Volcano Disaster Assistance Program (VDAP) and the Landslide Disaster Assistance Team (LDAT).
Many residents of the United States and its territories are exposed to seismic hazards. Earthquakes such as the 1811-1812 New Madrid Earthquakes, the M7.9 1906 San Francisco Earthquake, the M9.2 1964 Alaska Earthquake and Tsunami, and many others serve as reminders of this reality. Understanding seismic hazards worldwide and collaborating with international scientists improves our nation's capabilities to understand potential threats and develop mitigation strategies that are effective in preventing disasters here at home.