The Slovenia Times

App maps natural disasters since 14th century

Environment & Nature

A unique web-based digital atlas providing data on natural disasters in Slovenia all the way back to the 14th century has been made available by the Anton Melik Geographical Institute. The application also provides data about the most common types of natural disaster hazards for specific locations.

Courtesy of the department of natural disasters at the institute, which is part of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts, the atlas can be accessed here.

The department's head Bla┼ż Komac told the Slovenian Press Agency that the app provides data on historical natural disasters, avalanches, floods, landslides, earthquakes, forest fires and damage caused by natural disasters, as well as information on the current hazards for specific locations.

The aim is to inform the general public about the types and frequency of natural disasters that have occurred on the territory of Slovenia since the 14th century, with more details available for the period since 1750 and particularly for last 150 years.

The interactive atlas is the result of years of work, with the first studies launched at the institute in 1983. Valuable contributions for what are around 5,000 entries covered with over 100,000 units of information have also been provided by the Slovenian Environment Agency and the Forest Service.

"This is a significant achievement that is not matched even by much larger, older or wealthier countries. Globally, there is a comparable database called EMDAT, but it only covers country-by-country data from 1900 onwards, and more specifically for the last few decades," Komac pointed out.

The Geographic Atlas of Natural Disasters in Slovenia, going by the acronym GANNS, also allows individuals to report relevant phenomena on their own, making it an evolving, living project.

Presented on 9 November, the atlas is dedicated to the centenary of the birth of Slovenian geographer Ivan Gams.

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