Physical vulnerability assessment of buildings exposed to landslides in India

  • Aditi SinghEmail author
  • D. P. Kanungo
  • Shilpa Pal
Original Paper


Safe structures are the backbone of human coping capacity towards healthy living that can contribute significantly in reducing risk during hazards. However, due to various natural and anthropogenic activities, about 12.6% of land areas (excluding snow-covered area) in India are prone to landslide posing threat to life and property. Moreover, many structures in the hilly terrain of India are non-engineered which results in high vulnerability of buildings. Therefore, assessment of physical vulnerability is a fundamental step in reducing landslide risk. The study aims to present a methodology to assess vulnerability of the buildings using indicator-based approach at site-specific scale. Several studies to assess vulnerability of buildings due to landslides have been carried out by researchers from European countries. But these methodologies cannot be implemented successfully in India because of different geological and climatic condition. The different components of the discussed methodology for physical vulnerability of buildings exposed to landslides such as landslide intensity (a function of landslide velocity and volume) and resistance of buildings (a function of structural and non-structural features) are worked out and suggested by different researchers. However, putting them together, to present as a framework (specifically in Indian scenario) is the novelty of the present work. Further, consideration of the concept of ‘proximity of buildings to landslides’ in the process of site-specific vulnerability assessment is newly proposed. To address this issue, fifteen potential indicators contributing to vulnerability of buildings have been identified and a systematic form for documentation of data during field survey has also been prepared (keeping in view the construction bye-laws and techniques followed in India). The methodology discussed is further successfully implemented in ward number 10 of Gopeshwar Township (Chamoli District), Uttarakhand, India.


Landslide Physical Vulnerability Site-Specific Vulnerability Indicators Buildings 



The second author wishes to thank the Director, CSIR-Central Building Research Institute, Roorkee, for his kind permission to publish this work.


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© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Civil Engineering DepartmentGautam Buddha UniversityGreater NoidaIndia
  2. 2.Geotechnical Engineering GroupCSIR—Central Building Research Institute (CBRI)RoorkeeIndia
  3. 3.Department of Civil EngineeringDelhi Technological UniversityDelhiIndia

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