Most of buildings and structures are usually projected according to two main axes. However, the geographical position of these buildings varies randomly. Such random distributions of the azimuthal positions of structures, in most of the cities, generally, are not accounted for when assessing their seismic risk; certainly, the direction of the seismic loads is another highly random variable. Moreover, an additional important source of uncertainty is related to the structural response, mainly due to the random character of the mechanical properties. There is a consensus that uncertainties must be considered for adequately assessing the seismic risk of structures, but these directionality effects have not been deeply explored so far. In this article, the influence of the high uncertainty involved in these input variables on the expected seismic damage is analysed. Thus, an actual earthquake, which affected the southern part of Spain, is studied. Notably, damages on a group of affected buildings, located close to the epicentre, are analysed and discussed in detail. The results show that the influence of the random azimuthal position of structures is an important source of uncertainty and that it should be taken into account when estimating the expected seismic risk in urban areas.

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Published on 01/01/2018

Licence: CC BY-NC-SA license

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