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Seismic vulnerability of the health infrastructure in the Himalayan township of Mussoorie, Uttarakhand, India

Piyoosh Rautela (Department of Disaster Management, Disaster Mitigation and Management Centre, Government of Uttarakhand, Dehradun, India)
Girish Chandra Joshi (Department of Disaster Management, Disaster Mitigation and Management Centre, Government of Uttarakhand, Dehradun, India)
Bhupendra Bhaisora (Department of Disaster Management, Disaster Mitigation and Management Centre, Government of Uttarakhand, Dehradun, India)

International Journal of Disaster Resilience in the Built Environment

ISSN: 1759-5908

Article publication date: 4 October 2011

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to attempt to assess the seismic vulnerability of the built environment in the Himalayan township of Mussoorie in the state of Uttarakhand (India), paying specific attention to hospitals. Also an attempt is made to assess the magnitude of minimum economic losses, so as to design and undertake measures for reducing human misery in the event of a major disaster.

Design/methodology/approach

Seismic vulnerability of the building stock is evaluated using FEMA technique rapid visual screening and the likely earthquake induced damage is depicted as a function of the damage grades of the European Macroseismic Scale (EMS‐98). In total, 3,344 buildings, including 14 hospitals, are surveyed. In the field the structures are mapped using IKONOS satellite imagery while the collected data are analysed under geographic information system environment.

Findings

It was found that 18 percent of surveyed structures fall in high probability of Grade 5 damage and very high probability of Grade 4 damage class. This is estimated to result in economic loss of US$52.47 million. Almost, 80 percent of the hospitals of Mussoorie are thus likely to be non‐functional in the post‐earthquake phase due to varying degrees of structural and non‐structural damage.

Research limitations/implications

The study does not account for the cost of demolition or ground clearance cost for reconstruction, or losses likely to be incurred by public infrastructure. Thus, it is implied that retrofitting and replacement of vulnerable healthcare infrastructure should be facilitated on a priority basis along with development of suitable plans for mitigating losses in an earthquake event.

Practical implications

The study brings forth the importance of corrective actions (retrofitting/replacement) and detailed vulnerability assessment of all lifeline structures on priority basis.

Social implications

The results are intended to reduce seismic vulnerability and human toll in the event of any earthquake in the area.

Originality/value

The work is based upon the original data generated by the authors through rigorous fieldwork in the area and the results are totally based on these.

Keywords

Citation

Rautela, P., Chandra Joshi, G. and Bhaisora, B. (2011), "Seismic vulnerability of the health infrastructure in the Himalayan township of Mussoorie, Uttarakhand, India", International Journal of Disaster Resilience in the Built Environment, Vol. 2 No. 3, pp. 200-209. https://doi.org/10.1108/17595901111167088

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited