Rio de Janeiro has an agreement with NASA to prevent natural disasters

The US Consul General in Rio de Janeiro, Jacqueline Ward, visited the Rio Operations and Resilience Center (COR) to learn about the result of the partnership established between the city of Rio and the US space agency (NASA).

With the aim of sharing data, models and scientific and operational knowledge, the agreement between the institutions allows the city hall to obtain results that expand the capacity for preventing disasters and adapting the city to climate change.

During yesterday’s visit (13), the diplomat said that the US agency’s contribution is a source of pride:

“For me it is a very special experience to be here at COR and learn about the resources of the city of Rio for the prevention and response to natural disasters. And it makes me even more proud to know that NASA’s partnership is helping to improve monitoring, ensuring even more safety and protection for the people of Rio de Janeiro”.

Renewed in 2021, the joint work allowed the development of a tool that assists in monitoring during the summer rains in Rio: the Landslide Hazard Assessment model for Situational Awareness, which allows monitoring the risks of landslides in the city. The tool, used by the Rio Operations Center during storms, was built by the Pereira Passos Institute in partnership with NASA and Geo-Rio.

The president of Instituto Pereira Passos, Carlos Krylkhtine spoke about the importance of collaboration. “The partnership is super important and is bearing fruit for both institutions: by adapting the global models to the local, the American space agency can verify the efficiency of the model and, based on what was learned in Rio, replicate it helping other cities”.


For the summer of 2023, something new: now, in addition to knowing where precipitation is heaviest and where there is a danger of landslides, COR is able to monitor whether these risks can reach the vicinity of streets, avenues and roads in the city.

Using a road classification hierarchy, the new tool shows where there may be landslides and if there are important public places close by, allowing more speed in city hall decisions, such as the closure of roads.

Rio was the first local and operational implementation of NASA’s global landslide model. Today, the model is used by the Rio Operations Center as one of its triggers to decide whether the city changes its operational level during rain events. The partnership with the space agency also foresees a model for forecasting urban floods and an application that will allow the issue of air quality alerts.

Translated to english by RJ983

From Brazil, by EBC News

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