15 Jun 2022
15 Jun 2022
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal NHESS.

Earthquake Vulnerability Assessment of the Built Environment in Srinagar City, Kashmir Himalaya, Using GIS

Midhat Fayaz1, Shakil Romshoo1,2,3, Irfan Rashid1, and Rakesh Chandra2,4 Midhat Fayaz et al.
  • 1Department of Geoinformatics, University of Kashmir, Hazratbal Srinagar, 190006, Jammu and Kashmir, India
  • 2Department of Earth Sciences, University of Kashmir, Hazratbal Srinagar, 190006, Jammu and Kashmir, India
  • 3Islamic University of Science and Technology (IUST), Awantipora, 192122, Jammu and Kashmir, India
  • 4Department of Geology, University of Ladakah, Leh

Abstract. The study investigates the earthquake vulnerability of buildings in Srinagar, an urban city in the Kashmir Himalaya, India. The city, covering an area of around 246 km2 and divided into 69 municipal wards, is situated in the tectonically active and densely populated mountain ecosystem. Given the haphazard development and high earthquake vulnerability of the city, it is critical to assess the vulnerability of the built environment to inform policymaking for developing effective earthquake risk reduction strategies. Integrating various parameters in GIS using Analytical Hierarchical Process (AHP) and Technique for Order Preference by Similarity to Ideal Solution (TOPSIS) approaches, the ward-wise vulnerability of buildings revealed that a total of ~17 km2 area (~7 % area; 23 wards) has very high to high Vulnerability; Moderate Vulnerability affects ~69 km2 of the city area (28 %; 19 wards); ~160 km2 area (~65 % area; 27 wards) has vulnerability ranging from very low to low. Overall, the downtown city is most vulnerable to earthquake damage due to the high risk of pounding, high building density, and narrower roads, with little or no open spaces. The modern uptown city, on the other hand, has lower earthquake vulnerability due to the relatively wider roads and low building density. To build a safe and resilient city for its 1.5 million citizens, the knowledge generated in this study would inform action plans for developing earthquake risk reduction measures, which should include strict implementation of the building codes, retrofitting of the vulnerable buildings and creating a disaster consciousness among its citizenry.

Midhat Fayaz et al.

Status: open (extended)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • CC1: 'Comment on nhess-2022-155', Anamika Porwal, 03 Aug 2022 reply
  • CC2: 'Comment on nhess-2022-155', Nayeemov khurbsh, 19 Aug 2022 reply
  • RC1: 'Comment on nhess-2022-155', Moustafa Moufid Kassem, 28 Aug 2022 reply

Midhat Fayaz et al.

Midhat Fayaz et al.


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Short summary
Earthquakes cause immense loss of lives and damage to properties, particularly in major urban centers. The city of Srinagar, that houses around 1.5 million people, is susceptible to high seismic hazards due to its peculiar geological setting, urban setting, demographic profile and tectonic setting. Keeping in view all these factors the present study investigates the earthquake vulnerability of buildings in Srinagar, an urban city in the North Western Himalaya, India.