A rapid growth of population, intensive civil and industrial building, land and water instabilities (e. g. landslides, significant underground water level fluctuations), and the lack of public awareness regarding seismic hazard contribute to the increase of vulnerability of Baku (the capital city of the Republic of Azerbaijan) to earthquakes. In this study, we assess an earthquake risk in the city determined as a convolution of seismic hazard (in terms of the surface peak ground acceleration, PGA), vulnerability (due to building construction fragility, population features, the gross domestic product per capita, and landslide's occurrence), and exposure of infrastructure and critical facilities. The earthquake risk assessment provides useful information to identify the factors influencing the risk. A deterministic seismic hazard for Baku is analysed for four earthquake scenarios: near, far, local, and extreme events. The seismic hazard models demonstrate the level of ground shaking in the city: PGA high values are predicted in the southern coastal and northeastern parts of the city and in some parts of the downtown. The PGA attains its maximal values for the local and extreme earthquake scenarios. We show that the quality of buildings and the probability of their damage, the distribution of urban population, exposure, and the pattern of peak ground acceleration contribute to the seismic risk, meanwhile the vulnerability factors play a more prominent role for all earthquake scenarios. Our results can allow elaborating strategic countermeasure plans for the earthquake risk mitigation in the Baku city.
Babayev, G. Ismail-Zadeh, A. Le Mouël, J. -L.