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Large Scale Earthquake Management at Western Balkans through Joint Cross Border Cooperation Activities.






Full-scale exercises
EU contribution amount
EUR 1 153 669.00
Funding source
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Disasters are huge challenges for societies, especially for urban areas, where most of the population and economic activity are located. This is especially true for countries such as Montenegro, located in the Western Balkans region that has a difficult geomorphology to be supported immediately in case of a major disaster. Moreover, during summer, the population at risk is more than doubled due to increased tourists flows. Earthquakes are a predominant risk in the Western Balkans and a major one (such as the one in Albania November 2019) can have severe impacts in the efforts of the Western Balkans’ Governments for economic development and social wellbeing. The earthquake is the worst from point of view of damages, disruption of normality, life threatening situations and threat to societies / economies’ resilience. This complex situation can be further complicated if a 2nd earthquake hits the vulnerable area (normal scenario in cases of big earthquakes) that may cause even bigger problems than the main one, leading infrastructures damaged by the main earthquake to collapse or become dysfunctional due to severe damage. Moreover, urban areas’ resilience status influences major neighbouring areas and sometimes the whole country. This is the case Montenegro will face if a major earthquake hits in Boka Kotorska Bay affecting big part of the country. The area is the economic center of a big territory and the functions that will be damaged, cannot be easily replaced, including Unesco World Heritage Monuments. Impacts will be severe throughout the country and last quite long. A big earthquake can create shifts in economic activities that may create serious problems in the future, as Montenegro economy is dependent on tourism and the cities have clear interdependencies among them. Montenegro resilience status (will) influence neighbouring countries and especially Albania and Croatia, calling for cross border sustainable cooperation, served by BALANCE project.