Linking Disasters for Risk Reduction (MATRIX)

The project developed methods to link events such as earthquakes, landslides, and other natural disasters, to enable policymakers to take more effective risk reduction measures.

© Dongfan Wang |

© Dongfan Wang |


Many areas in Europe are at risk from natural hazards that can come in combinations, such as landslides triggered by earthquakes or floods caused by heavy winter storms. Although engineers and disaster managers usually deal with disasters as individual incidents, emergency response planning would be more effective if it recognized the links between events.

MATRIX researchers developed methods and tools to deal with cascading or conjoined natural disasters within a common framework, thereby improving coping strategies. The project analyzed historic data from individual disasters to develop comparisons of the specific risks from each type of hazard. The analysis aimed for improved understanding of risks arising from one disaster that can trigger or contribute to yet another. The research also examined how damage from one disaster can make a community more susceptible to damage from a second one.

MATRIX based its analysis on hazard data from three case studies: Naples, Italy; Cologne, Germany; and the French West Indies. Researchers also created a virtual city to allow them to simulate the effects of everything from flash floods and landslides to volcanic eruptions and   sea level rises.

IIASA Research

Institute researchers compared the  integrated risk assessment of multiple hazards with single hazard assessments and how decision making might be improved through dealing with linked events. They  also examined the unique challenges faced by decision makers conducting multi-hazard risk assessments.

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Last edited: 03 June 2014


01.01.2010 - 30.09.2013


International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
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