An assessment of physical aspects for seismic response capacity in Dhaka, Bangladesh

Md Anisuzzaman Ibne Omar, Mihoko Matsuyuki, Sangita Das, Michio Ubaura

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3 Citations (Scopus)


Bangladesh's geology puts it at high risk of earthquakes. The extremely high population and building density of the capital city, Dhaka, make it especially vulnerable to earthquakes in terms of emergency risk responses such as evacuation and rescue. This study aims to analyze the physical seismic emergency response capacity in Dhaka, thereby identifying areas that lack emergency seismic response capacity and require mitigation measures. Five indicators, rescue and evacuation accessibility, emergency evacuation capacity in open space, rescue capacity by firefighters and community volunteers, availability of emergency medical facilities, and evacuation capacity of temporary shelters, are developed for the assessment. Using RAJUK's GIS data, the accessible area, which shows the ease of rescuers' accessibility and evacuation, is calculated based on road width. Furthermore, calculations are also conducted of the population coverage ratio in each grid by each emergency facility, open spaces as evacuation space, fire stations, medical facilities, and public buildings as temporary shelters. The five maps showing the risk level for each indicator are developed. These indices are combined, and the comprehensive emergency response capacity is assessed, while the comprehensive risk map is developed. The assessment shows that the western part and the northern part have high-risk areas facing emergency response difficulties. In contrast, areas in the inner part of the city are at lower risk. To verify the assessment results, a questionnaire survey was conducted to determine experts' perceptions of high-risk and low-risk areas in terms of emergency response capacity. The results of the assessment were compared to experts' perceptions. Most of the assessments were similar to the experts' perceptions, but there were some inconsistencies. Some of the inconsistencies are likely due to misconceptions by the experts, but others likely stem from our use of non-updated data and calculation methods. In conclusion, some recommendations for improving the assessment are proposed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100175
JournalProgress in Disaster Science
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Apr


  • Dhaka
  • Earthquake
  • Emergency facility
  • Emergency response capacity
  • Road width


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