Assessing the vulnerability of buildings to tsunami in Sydney

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Australia is vulnerable to the impacts of tsunamis and exposure along the SE coast of New South Wales is es- pecially high. Significantly, this is the same area reported to have been affected by repeated large magnitude tsunamis during the Holocene. Efforts are under way to complete probabilistic risk assessments for the region but local gov- ernment planners and emergency risk managers need infor- mation now about building vulnerability in order to develop appropriate risk management strategies. We use the newly revised PTVA-3 Model (Dall’Osso et al., 2009) to assess the relative vulnerability of buildings to damage from a “worst case tsunami” defined by our latest understanding of regional risk – something never before undertaken in Australia. We present selected results from an investigation of building vul- nerability within the local government area of Manly – an iconic coastal area of Sydney. We show that a significant proportion of buildings (in particular, residential structures) are classified as having “High” and “Very High” Relative Vulnerability Index scores. Furthermore, other important buildings (e.g., schools, nursing homes and transport struc- tures) are also vulnerable to damage. Our results have seri- ous implications for immediate emergency risk management, longer-term land-use zoning and development, and building design and construction standards. Based on the work un- dertaken here, we recommend further detailed assessment of the vulnerability of coastal buildings in at risk areas, devel- opment of appropriate risk management strategies and a de- tailed program of community engagement to increase overall resilience.
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Dall'Osso, Filippo
Gonella, Marco
Gabbianelli, Giovanni
Withycombe, Geoff
Dominey-Howes, Dale
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Journal Article
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UNSW Faculty
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