Assessment of different hazards and vulnerabilities with sparse data in coastal city of Karachi, Pakistan

Nizamani, Jawad Ahmed
The coastal city of Karachi is the financial capital of Pakistan while being the most populous in the country. It was originally inhabited as a fishing village, which later became an important port during British rule. Almost all the major infrastructure, key facilities, slums, and housing schemes are located on or near the coast. The city was not known to pose risk of any major disaster until recently. With about twenty million people living in the city, it makes the inhabitants exposed and vulnerable to hazards than ever before. Although the city lies close to some on-shore faults, but the main concern is about off-shore faults in Makran Subduction Zone off the Karachi coast. The city has been hit by a Tsunami during 1945 earthquake with wave height of 1.5m. Furthermore, the city has chronic problem of urban flooding hazard, mostly due to monsoon rain, which often put city at standstill and cause causalities. Even though the mega city faces risk of several hazards, there has not been any significant research to understand the type or extent of hazards it is likely to face. In this study, vulnerability analysis of Karachi metropolitan is carried out by taking into account the disasters which affected the city in past. It includes both geophysical and climate-related hazards such as earthquake, tsunami, and flooding. Because of scarcity of data, methodology relies heavily on expert knowledge and judgement with selection and weight of hazard indicators are given using Delphi method. Hazard vulnerability assessments are realized by using GIS based multicriteria decision analysis (MCDA). Final vulnerability maps of Karachi obtained from Multi Criteria Decision Anlaysis reveal that the areas at South and West of Karachi near the shore with high population densityare at grave danger against tsunami. Earthquake vulnerability map, however, shows that most of the areas, especially ones with high population density, households, and located on alluvial deposits, have either very high or high vulnerability to earthquake. That is because three parameters (geology, population density, and number of households) carry significant weights in earthquake vulnerability mapping. Lastly, flood hazard vulnerability map identifies district east, central, west, and parts of Korangi having high to very high vulnerability to flooding. These are generally the areas, which are often hit with floods by the rivers (Malir and Lyari), apart from being low altitude, and high population density


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Citation Formats
J. A. Nizamani, “Assessment of different hazards and vulnerabilities with sparse data in coastal city of Karachi, Pakistan,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2020.