Articles | Volume 10, issue 6
25 Jun 2010
 | 25 Jun 2010

Microzonation of seismic risk in a low-rise Latin American city based on the macroseismic evaluation of the vulnerability of residential buildings: Colima city, México

V. M. Zobin, A. A. Cruz-Bravo, and F. Ventura-Ramírez

Abstract. A macroseismic methodology of seismic risk microzonation in a low-rise city based on the vulnerability of residential buildings is proposed and applied to Colima city, Mexico. The seismic risk microzonation for Colima consists of two elements: the mapping of residential blocks according to their vulnerability level and the calculation of an expert-opinion based damage probability matrix (DPM) for a given level of earthquake intensity and a given type of residential block. A specified exposure time to the seismic risk for this zonation is equal to the interval between two destructive earthquakes. The damage probability matrices were calculated for three types of urban buildings and five types of residential blocks in Colima. It was shown that only 9% of 1409 residential blocks are able to resist to the Modify Mercalli (MM) intensity VII and VIII earthquakes without significant damage. The proposed DPM-2007 is in good accordance with the experimental damage curves based on the macroseismic evaluation of 3332 residential buildings in Colima that was carried out after the 21 January 2003 intensity MM VII earthquake. This methodology and the calculated PDM-2007 curves may be applied also to seismic risk microzonation for many low-rise cities in Latin America, Asia, and Africa.