WIT Press

Determination Of The Damage Potential: A Contribution To The Analysis Of Avalanche Risk


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WIT Press


M. Keiler, G. Meißl & J. Stötter


Risk assessment involves analysing and evaluating both hazard and damage potential. While studies on natural hazard processes and the hazard potential are numerous, research on human aspects and the damage potential is rare. However, more attention needs to be drawn to the latter, as most parts of the Alps have undergone significant socio-economic changes since the mid-twentieth century. Methods and approaches which determine and assess the damage potential for risk analyses are still missing. This study presents a concept for an investigation and monetary assessment of buildings and mobile values as well as the estimation of the number of persons endangered by avalanches. The method is mainly based on digital data as well as statistical information. The results are presented corresponding to the existing hazard zones on a municipal level. Thus, buildings and mobile values as well as the number of persons of a region or district can be determined in a cost- and time-efficient way. Moreover the whole approach is incorporated in a Geographical Information System (GIS). The study is conducted and tested in the Paznaun Valley (Tyrol, Austria) and will be standardised for alpine regions. Keywords: natural hazards, avalanches, damage potential, risk assessment. 1 Introduction The United Nations declared the 1990s the International Decade for Natural Disasters Reduction (IDNDR). Its program focus was giving attention on increasing losses caused by natural hazards and promoting actions to reduce their impact. From a global perspective, alpine natural hazards like avalanches, debris flows, rock fall and landslides, cause only a small proportion of the total losses [1]. In the Alps, however, natural hazard processes affects society significantly, as economic and tourist activities as well as settlements share a spatially limited and intensively used area. The direct and indirect losses of the


natural hazards, avalanches, damage potential, risk assessment.