Natural Hazards

, Volume 61, Issue 2, pp 501–520 | Cite as

Estimation of structural vulnerability for flooding using geospatial tools in the rural area of Orissa, India

  • Praveen K. Thakur
  • Sreyasi Maiti
  • Nanette C. Kingma
  • V. Hari Prasad
  • S. P. Aggarwal
  • Ashutosh Bhardwaj
Original Paper


Vulnerability assessment of natural disasters is a crucial input for risk assessment and management. In the light of increasing frequency of disasters, societies must become more disaster resilient. This research tries to contribute to this aim. For risk assessment, insight is needed into the hazard, the elements at risk and their vulnerabilities. This study focused on the estimation of structural vulnerability due to flood for a number of structural elements at risk in the rural area of Orissa, India (Kendrapara), using a community-based approach together with geospatial analysis tools. Sixty-three households were interviewed about the 2003 floods in 11 villages and 166 elements at risk (buildings) were identified. Two main structural types were identified in the study area, and their vulnerability curves were made by plotting the relationships between flood depth and vulnerability for each structural type. The vulnerability ranges from 0 (no damage) to 1 (collapse/total damage). Structural type-1 is characterized by mud wall/floor material and a roof of paddy straw, and structural type-2 is characterized by reinforced cement concrete (RCC) walls/floor and a RCC roof. The results indicate that structural type-1 is most vulnerable for flooding. Besides flood depth, flood duration is also of major importance. Houses from structural type-1 were totally collapsed after 3 days of inundation. Damage of the houses of structural type-2 began after 10 days of inundation.


Flood structural vulnerability Geospatial analysis Flood depth and duration 



Authors take this opportunity to thank the former Dean, Dr. V.K. Dadhwal and current Director, Dr. P.S. Roy, Indian Institute of Remote Sensing (IIRS) Dehradun, India, Rector, Faculty of Geo-information science and Earth Observation (ITC), University of Twente, Enschede, The Netherlands and officials of Orissa State Disaster Management Authority (OSDMA), Bhubaneswar, India, for their constant support and encouragement for the completion of this work.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Praveen K. Thakur
    • 1
  • Sreyasi Maiti
    • 2
  • Nanette C. Kingma
    • 3
  • V. Hari Prasad
    • 4
  • S. P. Aggarwal
    • 1
  • Ashutosh Bhardwaj
    • 1
  1. 1.Indian Institute of Remote Sensing (IIRS)DehradunIndia
  2. 2.RMS Risk Management Solution India Private LimitedNoidaIndia
  3. 3.Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation (ITC)University of TwenteEnschedeThe Netherlands
  4. 4.National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC)HyderabadIndia

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