Multi-hazard risk assessment using GIS in urban areas: a case study for the city of Turrialba, Costa Rica

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    In the framework of the UNESCO sponsored project on “Capacity Building for Natural Disaster Reduction‿ a case study was carried out on multi-hazard risk assessment of the city of Turrialba, located in the central part of Costa Rica. The city with a population of 33,000 people is located in an area, which is regularly affected by flooding, landslides and earthquakes. In order to assist the local emergency commission and the municipality, a pilot study was carried out in the development of a GIS –based system for risk assessment and management. The work was made using an orthophoto as basis, on which all buildings, land parcels and roads, within the city and its direct surroundings were digitized, resulting in a digital parcel map, for which a number of hazard and vulnerability attributes were collected in the field. Based on historical information a GIS database was generated, which was used to generate flood depth maps for different return periods. For determining the seismic hazard a modified version of the Radius approach was used and the landslide hazard was determined based on the historical landslide inventory and a number of factor maps, using a statistical approach. The cadastral database of the city was used, in combination with the various hazard maps for different return periods to generate vulnerability maps for the city. In order to determine cost of the elements at risk, differentiation was made between the costs of the constructions and the costs of the contents of the buildings. The cost maps were combined with the vulnerability maps and the hazard maps per hazard type for the different return periods, in order to obtain graphs of probability versus potential damage. The resulting database can be a tool for local authorities to determine the effect of certain mitigation measures, for which a cost-benefit analysis can be carried out. The database also serves as an important tool in the disaster preparedness phase of disaster management at the municipal level.
    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages17
    Publication statusPublished - Sept 2002
    EventRegional Workshop on Best Practices in Disaster Mitigation 2002 - Bali, Indonesia
    Duration: 24 Sept 200226 Sept 2002


    WorkshopRegional Workshop on Best Practices in Disaster Mitigation 2002


    • Database
    • Risk assessment
    • GIS


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