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Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 18, issue 7 | Copyright
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 18, 2011-2026, 2018
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 25 Jul 2018

Research article | 25 Jul 2018

Mapping accessibility for earthquake hazard response in the historic urban centre of Bucharest

Cristina Merciu1, Ioan Ianos1, George-Laurenţiu Merciu2, Roy Jones3, and George Pomeroy4 Cristina Merciu et al.
  • 1Interdisciplinary Centre of Advanced Research on Territorial Dynamics, University of Bucharest, Blvd. Regina Elisabeta, 4–12, Bucharest, Romania
  • 2Faculty of Geography, University of Bucharest, Blvd. Nicolae Bălcescu, 1, 030018 Bucharest, Romania
  • 3Geography Discipline Group, Curtin University, Perth, Western Australia 6845, Australia
  • 4Geography – Earth Science Department, Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania, 1871 Old Main Drive, Shippensburg, PA 17257, USA

Abstract. Planning for post-disaster accessibility is essential for the provision of emergency and other services to protect life and property in impacted areas. Such planning is particularly important in congested historic districts where narrow streets and at-risk structures are more common and may even prevail. Indeed, a standard method of measuring accessibility, through the use of isochrones, may be particularly inappropriate in these congested historic areas. Bucharest, Romania, is a city with a core of historic buildings and narrow streets. Furthermore, Bucharest ranks second only to Istanbul among large European cities in terms of its seismic risk. This paper provides an accessibility simulation for central Bucharest using mapping and geographic information system (GIS) technologies. It hypothesizes that all buildings in the risk 1 class would collapse in an earthquake of a similar magnitude to those of 1940 and 1977. The authors then simulate accessibility impacts in the historic centre of Bucharest, such as the isolation of certain areas and blockages of some street sections. In this simulation, accessibility will be substantially compromised by anticipated and extensive building collapse. Therefore, policy makers and planners need to fully understand and incorporate the serious implications of this compromised accessibility when planning emergency services and disaster recovery responses.

Publications Copernicus
Short summary
A simulation of the building collapses and street blockages that are most likely to occur in the event of the next major earthquake in the historic centre of Bucharest was conducted in order to evaluate their impact on the provision of disaster response and emergency services. It identified those areas where the accessibility impacts would be most severe. These results are of value to local policy makers and planners seeking to devise targeted and effective disaster response strategies.
A simulation of the building collapses and street blockages that are most likely to occur in the...