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UBC Theses and Dissertations

GIS-based multiple hazard risk assessment : a case study for the City of Kelowna Alam, Md. Nurul


In 2003, the Okanagan Mountain Park Fire caused significant damage to the local infrastructure, real estate, landscape and resources in Kelowna, BC, Canada. Furthermore, given its geographic location, the city is vulnerable to seismic hazard, consequently, in this thesis, a multiple hazard (earthquake, fire) risk assessment study has been undertaken. To select appropriate tool for the seismic vulnerability assessment, six established building vulnerability assessment methods, such as FEMA 154, Euro Code 8, New Zealand guideline, Modified Turkish method, Hybrid method, and NRC guidelines, are evaluated and ranked. It is observed that the ‘Hybrid’ (which includes the local site specific issues as well as the results from non destructive testing and experimental data) method adequately satisfies all the criteria necessary for their use in seismic risk assessment. To highlight utility of the different vulnerability assessment methods, over 0.5 km × 0.5 km grids, a case study for the city is conducted. From the Hybrid method, 48% and 52% of buildings in Kelowna are found to be in moderate and low seismic vulnerability states, respectively. Furthermore, using a GIS-based RADIUS method, a seismic damage estimation study has been undertaken. Damage distributions are quantified and mapped over 0.5 km × 0.5 km grids. The assessment reveals that, with a Mw8.5 Cascadian earthquake scenario, there is a possibility of 62 buildings (mostly wooden structures) collapsing and 13 people being injured. The assessment result also reveals that downtown Kelowna is expected to suffer highest amount of damage. Finally, a GIS-based wildfire risk assessment shows that, 26 %, 12% and 63% area in Kelowna are assessed to be in a high, moderate and low risk category, respectively. Not only can the total amount of the damage but the weak points of the city be measured with the spatial analysis. This measure could be leveraged as a benchmark for a scenario-based contingency plan for multiple hazards for the City of Kelowna. Improving the quality of information and understanding of disaster risk will facilitate the authority to manage effective multiple hazard risk reduction measures, including preparedness, emergency response activities, recovery actions and policies.

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