University of Twente Student Theses


Expressing uncertainties in building vulnerability to hydro-meteorological hazards

Godfrey, Aroshaliny (2013) Expressing uncertainties in building vulnerability to hydro-meteorological hazards.

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Abstract:Vulnerability as we know is a complex component within the risk management framework, and it comprises of components such susceptibility, exposure and lack of resilience. These components play a significant role in assessing the vulnerability, however there exists uncertainty within vulnerability in the risk management framework due to its multi -dimensional, dynamic and scale dependent characteristics. It is vital to identify these uncertainties and quantify them to achieve accurate results. This research is aimed at expressing these uncertainties to hydro-meteorological hazards such as floods (river flood, flash flood) and landslides (slow moving and rapid landslides) in Nehoiu, Buzau County, Romania. Inorder to analyse the range of uncertainty, existing vulnerability curves for the Reinforced Cement Concrete (RCC) and wooden buildings were collected and evaluated for the suitable curves. Using the selected curves an averaged vulnerability curve was made and the range of uncertainty expressed as the standard deviation. Field work was carried out to map and characterise the buildings in the study area, 689 buildings were mapped for their structural type, occupancy type and the state of their structural and non-structural components. Interviews were conducted for 60 houses, wherein the information on the detailed building characteristics was obtained. Questionnaires were collected from experts and ESR’s to develop a weighting method and weights were assigned using Spatial-Multi Criteria Evaluation (SMCE). The weights from experts along with the weights of the building characteristics from the fieldwork were used to calculate the vulnerability uncertainty index. This vulnerability uncertainty index was then plotted on to the averaged vulnerability curve to identify the range of uncertainty. The vulnerability values along with the assumed hazard information due to the lack of previous hazard information were used to indicate how the risk assessment could be carried out using these values. The research concluded with expressing the complex nature of the existing vulnerability curve and their variation. The predominant building type in the study area consists of wooden buildings. Based on the weighting, the building characteristics significant for river flood: presence of basement and height of the building with respect to river, flash flood: the structural characteristics such as wall material, quality and maintenance of the building. For landslides: It can be concluded that the characteristics such as building close to slope and cracks in the structure were significant for both slow moving and rapid landslides. Lastly risk assessment can be carried out using this method provided that there is more detailed information on the hazard intensity and the damage information. Keywords: Physical Vulnerability, Building Characteristics, Hydro-meteorological hazards, Uncertainty, Risk Assessment
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:ITC: Faculty of Geo-information Science and Earth Observation
Programme:Geoinformation Science and Earth Observation MSc (75014)
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