Landslide Risk: Economic Valuation in the North-Eastern Zone of Medellin City


Natural disasters of a geodynamic nature can cause enormous economic and human losses. The economic costs of a landslide disaster include relocation of communities and physical repair of urban infrastructure. However, when performing a quantitative risk analysis, generally, the indirect economic consequences of such an event are not taken into account. A probabilistic approach methodology that considers several scenarios of hazard and vulnerability to measure the magnitude of the landslide and to quantify the economic costs is proposed. With this approach, it is possible to carry out a quantitative evaluation of the risk by landslides, allowing the calculation of the economic losses before a potential disaster in an objective, standardized and reproducible way, taking into account the uncertainty of the building costs in the study zone. The possibility of comparing different scenarios facilitates the urban planning process, the optimization of interventions to reduce risk to acceptable levels and an assessment of economic losses according to the magnitude of the damage. For the development and explanation of the proposed methodology, a simple case study is presented, located in north-eastern zone of the city of Medellín. This area has particular geomorphological characteristics, and it is also characterized by the presence of several buildings in bad structural conditions. The proposed methodology permits to obtain an estimative of the probable economic losses by earthquake-induced landslides, taking into account the uncertainty of the building costs in the study zone. The obtained estimative shows that the structural intervention of the buildings produces a reduction the order of 21 % in the total landslide risk. © Published under licence by IOP Publishing Ltd

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