Original Paper

Natural Hazards

, Volume 60, Issue 2, pp 425-460

First online:

Classification of road damage due to earthquakes

  • Panjamani AnbazhaganAffiliated withDepartment of Civil Engineering, Indian Institute of Science Email author 
  • , Sushma SrinivasAffiliated withDepartment of Civil Engineering, Indian Institute of Science
  • , Deepu ChandranAffiliated withDepartment of Civil Engineering, Indian Institute of Science

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Earthquakes cause massive road damage which in turn causes adverse effects on the society. Previous studies have quantified the damage caused to residential and commercial buildings; however, not many studies have been conducted to quantify road damage caused by earthquakes. In this study, an attempt has been made to propose a new scale to classify and quantify the road damage due to earthquakes based on the data collected from major earthquakes in the past. The proposed classification for road damage due to earthquake is called as road damage scale (RDS). Earthquake details such as magnitude, distance of road damage from the epicenter, focal depth, and photographs of damaged roads have been collected from various sources with reported modified Mercalli intensity (MMI). The widely used MMI scale is found to be inadequate to clearly define the road damage. The proposed RDS is applied to various reported road damage and reclassified as per RDS. The correlation between RDS and earthquake parameters of magnitude, epicenter distance, hypocenter distance, and combination of magnitude with epicenter and hypocenter distance has been studied using available data. It is observed that the proposed RDS correlates well with the available earthquake data when compared with the MMI scale. Among several correlations, correlation between RDS and combination of magnitude and epicenter distance is appropriate. Summary of these correlations, their limitations, and the applicability of the proposed scale to forecast road damages and to carry out vulnerability analysis in urban areas is presented in the paper.


Earthquake Damages Road Scale Magnitude Distance