Natural Hazards

, Volume 91, Issue 1, pp 239–266 | Cite as

Integrated methodology for flood risk assessment and application in urban communities of Pakistan

  • Irfan Ahmad Rana
  • Jayant K. Routray
Original Paper


Flood disasters and its consequent damages are on the rise globally. Pakistan has been experiencing an increase in flood frequency and severity along with resultant damages in the past. In addition to the regular practices of loss and damage estimation, current focus is on risk assessment of hazard-prone communities. Risk measurement is complex as scholars engaged in disaster science and management use different quantitative models with diverse interpretations. This study tries to provide clarity in conceptualizing disaster risk and proposes a risk assessment methodology with constituent components such as hazard, vulnerability (exposure and sensitivity) and coping/adaptive capacity. Three communities from different urban centers in Pakistan have been selected based on high flood frequency and intensity. A primary survey was conducted in selected urban communities to capture data on a number of variables relating to flood hazard, vulnerability and capacity to compute flood risk index. Households were categorized into different risk levels, such as can manage risk, can survive and cope, and cannot cope. It was found that risk levels varied significantly across the households of the three communities. Metropolitan city was found to be highly vulnerable as compared to smaller cities due to weak capacity. Households living in medium town had devised coping mechanisms to manage risk. The proposed methodology is tested and found operational for risk assessment of flood-prone areas and communities irrespective of locations and countries.


Flood hazard Pakistan Risk assessment Urban communities 



Authors would like to thank anonymous reviewers for their invaluable comments and suggestions for the improvement in this article. The authors would further like to express their gratitude to the Asian Institute of Technology, Thailand, and the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan for supporting this study through research funds and granting scholarship for the doctoral studies of the first author.


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Urban and Regional PlanningNational University of Sciences and Technology (NUST)IslamabadPakistan
  2. 2.Regional and Rural Development Planning (RRDP) and Disaster Preparedness, Mitigation and Management (DPMM), Department of Development and SustainabilityAsian Institute of TechnologyBangkokThailand

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