Focal areas
Adaptation to climate change
Land management
Natural hazards
Linked project
People planning test installation for early warning system in Medellín

Inform@Risk: Test installation for early warning system in Medellín

Since August, the test installation of the Inform@Risk early warning system for slope movements has been carried out in Medellín, where around 100,000 people currently live in areas at risk of landslides. The work is accompanied by information campaigns and workshops with local residents to increase acceptance and responsibility for the system.

Within the Inform@Risk project, a dense network of low-cost and low-maintenance geosensors will be implemented for the first time in an informally populated area. This will involve the installation of a newly developed wireless geosensor network and an approximately 275-meter pilot line of a linear deformation sensor (Continuous Shear Monitor). The sensors, based on Internet of Things (IoT) and 3D printing technologies, can detect even minor slope deformations that occur before a catastrophic failure of a slope. Additional sensors monitor slope movement triggers such as rainfall, allowing for more accurate hazard assessment and warning of slope movement.

Installationsplan © AGR/ TUM
Installation plan © AGR/ TUM

Special attention is paid to the participation of the local population and the integration of the sensors into the public spaces of the settlement. The sensors are protected by specially designed enclosures and are placed visibly in the public space. In special places, these are designed as benches and small squares. Sensor locations and evacuation routes were determined in joint site inspections, and more than 200 trees have already been planted in community action to mark the locations. The residents have also taken on "sensor responsibilities" for individual locations.

Baumpflanzung © David Ceron
Tree planting © David Ceron

The sensor system has already been tested in Germany since the fall of 2020, but due to the pandemic, installation on site was repeatedly delayed. For a long time, workshops with residents could only be conducted online, which proved difficult in view of the lack of infrastructure in the informal settlement. In the course of the test installation, the sensor system and the enclosures are now to be further optimized with regard to installation and use in an informal settlement. The overall system is to be completed by the end of 2021, after which training sessions with the population will be conducted and the early warning system will be evaluated with regard to its transferability to other locations in the region.

Testinstallation des Inform@Risk-Frühwarnsystems © David Ceron
Test installation for early warning system in Medellín © David Ceron
Teamfoto © Yennifer Dallmann Villa
Team photo © Yennifer Dallmann Villa