Journal of Seismology

, Volume 21, Issue 4, pp 571–589 | Cite as

Update earthquake risk assessment in Cairo, Egypt

  • Ahmed BadawyEmail author
  • Ibrahim Korrat
  • Mahmoud El-Hadidy
  • Hanan Gaber


The Cairo earthquake (12 October 1992; m b  = 5.8) is still and after 25 years one of the most painful events and is dug into the Egyptians memory. This is not due to the strength of the earthquake but due to the accompanied losses and damages (561 dead; 10,000 injured and 3000 families lost their homes). Nowadays, the most frequent and important question that should rise is “what if this earthquake is repeated today.” In this study, we simulate the same size earthquake (12 October 1992) ground motion shaking and the consequent social-economic impacts in terms of losses and damages. Seismic hazard, earthquake catalogs, soil types, demographics, and building inventories were integrated into HAZUS-MH to produce a sound earthquake risk assessment for Cairo including economic and social losses. Generally, the earthquake risk assessment clearly indicates that “the losses and damages may be increased twice or three times” in Cairo compared to the 1992 earthquake. The earthquake risk profile reveals that five districts (Al-Sahel, El Basateen, Dar El-Salam, Gharb, and Madinat Nasr sharq) lie in high seismic risks, and three districts (Manshiyat Naser, El-Waily, and Wassat (center)) are in low seismic risk level. Moreover, the building damage estimations reflect that Gharb is the highest vulnerable district. The analysis shows that the Cairo urban area faces high risk. Deteriorating buildings and infrastructure make the city particularly vulnerable to earthquake risks. For instance, more than 90 % of the estimated buildings damages are concentrated within the most densely populated (El Basateen, Dar El-Salam, Gharb, and Madinat Nasr Gharb) districts. Moreover, about 75 % of casualties are in the same districts. Actually, an earthquake risk assessment for Cairo represents a crucial application of the HAZUS earthquake loss estimation model for risk management. Finally, for mitigation, risk reduction, and to improve the seismic performance of structures and assure life safety and collapse prevention in future earthquakes, a five-step road map has been purposed.


Earthquakes Hazards Risk Vulnerability Risk profile Risk matrix Cairo Egypt 



The authors are grateful to the Editor in Chief Prof. Mariano Garcia-Fernandez and the anonymous reviewers for their critical reviews which have greatly helped to improve the revised version. Great and special thanks to Prof. Kelly S. Stone for her critical review and valuable comments that totally enhanced the manuscript. This work has been carried out at Earthquake Division of the National Research Institute of Astronomy and Geophysics (NRIAG), in cooperation with Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Region VIII, Denver, CO. The authors are also grateful to Douglas Bausch and Jesse Rozelle for their help during their short visit to NRIAG.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ahmed Badawy
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ibrahim Korrat
    • 2
  • Mahmoud El-Hadidy
    • 1
  • Hanan Gaber
    • 1
  1. 1.Seismology DepartmentNational Research Institute of Astronomy and GeophysicsCairoEgypt
  2. 2.Geology Department, Faculty of SciencesMansoura UniversityMansouraEgypt

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