AURA Observatories in Chile are organizing a workshop on astronomical observatories earthquake preparedness.

Chile has one of the highest rates of seismicity in the world and is in fact location of the most intense earthquake ever recorded (the M9.5 earthquake in 1960 at Chiloe). Astronomical Observatories in Chile will experience the effects of one or more major earthquakes in their lifetimes and we need to be prepared.

This workshop will address the technical issues associated with keeping structures and infrastructure intact and the safety and health issues for affected personnel prior to, during and after a severe earthquake. Among other things, it will cover seismicity in Chile, inspections necessary for identifying structures and equipment that may be vulnerable to severe ground motion, resources available to aid in seismic retrofit, ground motion sensing and sensor networks throughout Chile, advance safety planning, actions necessary during and immediately after a large earthquake and post-earthquake recovery.

Over a period of two days, we will review this information with focused presentations, general discussion and several small working groups covering specific issues. The impact of the magnitude M6.7 Hawaii earthquake on Mauna Kea Observatories of October 2007 will be reviewed. The intended outcome is a heightened sense of awareness of the seismic threat that we face, a start of collaborations, where appropriate, and concrete steps toward the mitigation of the seismic risks that we all face.

The workshop will be held at the La Serena Club Resort, 1000 Avenida del Mar, La Serena, Chile. Attendance will be limited to a maximum of about 60 participants. We request a limit of 10 persons per observatory.

The workshop will take place on 3-4 December 2007. Participants should plan to arrive in La Serena on Sunday December 2nd at the latest.

There is no registration fee; however participants are expected to pay for their local arrangements.

This Workshop will complement the work developed at the Mauna Kea Observatories Earthquake Workshop in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, in March of this year.

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