Earthquake Damage Assessment Using GIS and Remote Sensing: An Application for Nepal

Authors: Asmita Bhattarai*, University of Utah
Topics: Hazards, Risks, and Disasters, Hazards and Vulnerability, Asia
Keywords: Earthquake, Damage Assessment, GIS, Remote Sensing
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Day: 4/7/2021
Start / End Time: 3:05 PM / 4:20 PM
Room: Virtual 7
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Drawing upon the past research and case studies on earthquake, damage assessment, and GIS and remote sensing applications, this study proposes a seismic risk and post-earthquake damage assessment framework for Nepal. Several studies have taken the 2015 Nepal earthquake as a case study and proposed different building damage assessment methods. What sets this study apart is that it explores possible applications and limitations of different techniques that have been proposed and integrate them into a holistic framework of damage assessment that can be implemented in the context of Nepal. The first step of the proposed two-step framework provides an outline for the classification of buildings and roads in the study area according to different risk levels. Subsequently, the second step identifies different stages of post-earthquake damage assessment and recommends specific techniques to be applied at each stage. While the first step is GIS intensive, the second step is heavy in remote sensing applications.

The need for this study was realized while working as a part of the Rapid Visual Damage Assessment (RVDA) team to conduct field surveys after the Nepal Earthquake 2015. The proposed framework is designed to expedite disaster response and reduce associated cost, and its implementation is also expected to reduce the need for conducting field surveys, which can be extremely risky in the event of ongoing aftershocks.

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