Natural Hazards

, Volume 38, Issue 1–2, pp 21–44 | Cite as

Comparative Risk Assessments for the City of Cologne – Storms, Floods, Earthquakes

  • G. GrünthalEmail author
  • A. H. Thieken
  • J. Schwarz
  • K. S. Radtke
  • A. Smolka
  • B. Merz


In this paper a methodology for a multi-risk assessment of an urban area is introduced and performed for the city of Cologne, Germany, considering the natural hazards windstorm, flooding and earthquake. Moreover, sources of the uncertainty in the analysis and future needs for research are identified. For each peril the following analyses were undertaken: hazard assessment, vulnerability assessment and estimation of losses. To compare the three hazard types on a consistent basis, a common economic assessment of exposed assets was developed. This was used to calculate direct economic losses to buildings and their contents. The perils were compared by risk curves showing the exceedence probability of the estimated losses. In Cologne, most of the losses that occur frequently are due to floods and windstorms. For lower return periods (10–200 years) the risk is dominated by floods. For return periods of more than 200 years the highest damage is caused by earthquakes.


Urban Area Risk Assessment Economic Loss Return Period Natural Hazard 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. Grünthal
    • 1
    Email author
  • A. H. Thieken
    • 1
  • J. Schwarz
    • 2
  • K. S. Radtke
    • 3
  • A. Smolka
    • 4
  • B. Merz
    • 1
  1. 1.GeoForschungsZentrum PotsdamPotsdamGermany
  2. 2.Bauhaus-University WeimarWeimarGermany
  3. 3.University LeipzigLeipzigGermany
  4. 4.Munich Reinsurance CompanyMunichGermany

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