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How much is known about tsunamis in the Valparaíso region?

Noticias 01 Feb 2024


Camila Vargas and Vania Espinoza, 5th year Geology students are doing their last professional internship, thanks to a partnership between the Geology Department of UNAB Viña del Mar and Itrend's Learn Resilience. This alliance is in addition to the various activities that this university, a partner of Itrend, has carried out together, mainly focused on the educational field, highlighting the Congress of Pedagogy, Creativity and Resilience that both institutions have been organizing since 2022 and workshops on understanding disaster risk for undergraduate students of pedagogy and kindergarten education and the Pedagogy in Secondary Education program for Graduates and Graduates. 

Both students began their internship in December 2023, and the first week of January they embarked on the citizen survey project, taking advantage of the large presence of tourists in the city of Viña del Mar. The objective was to gather information on basic knowledge about evacuation routes, terminology in the event of a possible earthquake and tsunami in this area. The conclusions are, to say the least, worrying. Some 73% do not have a family emergency plan in the event of an earthquake and subsequent tsunami; 43% do not know the evacuation routes and measures and 47% do not know the term "vertical evacuation".

Faced with the need to address this issue in the commune, the UNAB Geology career and Aprende Resiliencia applied for a project of linkage with the environment, with which they were awarded a Dialogue and Knowledge Promotion Fund of the same university, which will allow them to develop educational resources that will be hosted on the Aprende Resiliencia platform, as well as dissemination material to inform about the risk in the garden city, safety and evacuation measures, among others. All with the main objective of educating and raising awareness in the community of the Valparaíso Region in the face of future socio-natural disasters and promoting action plans in municipalities and communal instances.

"This project seeks to contribute in educational matters and to create awareness in the community of the Region in the face of future socio-natural disasters, seeking improvements in the action plans of the municipalities that make up the Region; For this, the students evaluated in the field the conditions, distribution and perception of the existing signage, regarding the tsunami danger and evacuation routes, from which they have made important observations for improvement, in addition to conducting surveys to know the degree of information that the community, tourists, commercial premises among others have", explains Ximena Contardo, professor of Geology at UNAB Viña del Mar, in charge of the project.

Ximena Contardo also highlighted the experience of Pas Toledo, head of the Learn Resilience project in the generation of capsules and educational material on geological hazards in Itrend, "this represents a new instance and opportunity in which we geologists can perform, apply knowledge and be a contribution to our community".

The final objective of this project is to hold a closing seminar open to the community, municipalities, neighborhood councils and schools, and to disseminate the educational and dissemination material created, strengthening the culture of disaster resilience in the region.

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