Message from the Director


The UP Natural Hazard Centre Africa makes use of a multidisciplinary approach to generate and provide vital information that can be used in the disaster and risk management industries to manage potential risks related to risk management and engineering. As such, it serves as a one-stop contact centre where research solutions and consultative services can be sourced. The Centre is located on the main campus of the University of Pretoria in Hatfield, South Africa. It prides itself in having a wide network of expert associates with extensive skills in earthquake hazard modelling, mining catastrophes, and flood and meteorological risk analysis, who can offer independent advice, opinion and analysis on all aspects of natural perils.


Why choose us?

South Africa is a country that is exposed to several types of natural hazards. Earthquakes, ground shaking, tornadoes, hail, drought and floods can cause considerable financial losses. Through the expertise available in the Centre, these potential losses can be quantified through the use of catastrophe models.

Natural hazard and risk analysis focuses on the estimation, prevention and limitation of damages from natural disasters. Although risk analysis cannot prevent natural disasters, it can assist in minimising their negative effect and help avoid the potential loss of lives and damage to property.

Although there are several hazard and disaster research centres across the world, and many approaches to planning and modelling disaster events, most of the other academic and research institutions that focus on natural hazards are located in countries such as the USA and Europe, and their assessment procedures are not designed for African scenarios. This continent needs African methodologies and techniques that are specific to Africa to deal with the unique circumstances of this continent, including often limited and uncertain data. It is for this reason that it was decided to establish a centre focusing on natural hazards in Africa at the University of Pretoria, a leading, research-intensive university at the southern tip of Africa.


How we work

The UP Natural Hazard Centre Africa amalgamates various communities and gathers information for the disaster and risk management industries. The Centre promotes research into natural hazards and makes relevant information related to natural perils more widely available to the risk management industry. The Centre also disseminates this information by delivering presentations and publishing articles on recent developments and research in this field.

A particular strength of the Centre is its ability to provide solutions for limited and incomplete data sets based on strict mathematical and statistical modelling procedures. These procedures are universal and can be applied to data that ranges from natural hazards to finance.

Published by Ansie Smit

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