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New method for building collapse risk assessment based on damage data due to the 1995 KOBE earthquake

ACRS 1999

Poster Session 2

New Method for Building Collapse Risk Assessment
Based on Damage Data due to The 1995 Kobe Earthquake

Hiroyuki Tanaka, Osamu Murao and Fumio Yamazaki

Institute of Industrial Science

University of Tokyo

4-6-1, Komaba, Meguro-ku, Tokyo, 153-8505

Tel: (81)-3-5452-6408, Fax: (81)-3-3408-2666

E-mail: [email protected]

Keydwords: Building Collapse Risk, the 1995 Kobe Earthquake, Tokyo, Reliability
Analysis, Fragility Curve


“The Earthquake Area Vulnerability Assessment of Tokyo”, which was published
by Tokyo Metropolitan Government (TMG) recently, shows relative seismic risks in Tokyo.
“The area danger levels” were determined with respect to building collapse, fire outbreak and
spread, human casualties and access for evacuation, considering soil conditions, building
inventory and social conditions. The method on the report was applied to Nada Ward, Kobe City
using the inventory before the 1995 Hyogoken-Nanbu (Kobe) Earthquake. The obtained
“building collapse risk” was compared with the actual damage of the ward due to the earthquake.
The result of the comparison indicated that the weights used in the TMG method should be
adjusted since the obtained collapse risk was strongly influenced by the building density of each
city block. Then a revised method to evaluate “building collapse risk” was proposed. The new
building collapse risk corresponds to the severe damage ratio of buildings and it reflects the
characteristics of buildings and sites. The proposed method may be useful for seismic risk
assessments by local governments in Japan.

1. Introduction

Since the 1995 Hyogoken-Nanbu Earthquake, many local and national governments of
Japan have been more respected the studies of earthquake damage assessment. An earthquake
causes fires, liquefaction, land slides and lifeline interruptions as well as damage to buildings
and infrastructures. It is very important for local governments, not only of prefectures but also
of cities or wards, to grasp seismic vulnerability of each city block. Recent GIS technologies
enable us to assess seismic risk and to predict earthquake damage visually considering several
kinds of inventories and other natural and social data.

This study deal with building collapse risk in “The Earthquake Area Vulnerability
Assessment of Tokyo” [TMG, 1998]. This assessment is different from damage assessments
for scenario earthquakes [TMG, 1997] in these points: (1) The former assumes no specific
earthquake source model. (2) Rather simple model is used in the former.

In this study, in order to examine the assessment method of building collapse risk due
to earthquakes, the method used in the TMG’s report was applied to the Nada Ward, Kobe
City using building inventory before the 1995 Kobe Earthquake. The obtained “building
collapse risk” was compared with the actual damage of the ward due to the earthquake and a
revised method to estimate “building collapse risk” which fits the actual damage was

2. Application of the TMG Method to Nada Ward

2. 1 Building Collapse Risk by the Method of TMG

The building collapse risk by the method classified all the district blocks in Tokyo into
five levels due to the amount of risk calculated with weights for building characteristics and
site characteristics. These elements are determined by experiences of six professionals
considering seismic vulnerability of buildings. The amount of risk (simply call “risk”
hereafter) for building collapse was calculated by the following equations (1) and (2):

Qkn = Dk (1-Wkn