The Urban Seismic Risk index (USRi) published in a previous article (Carreño et al., Nat Hazards 40:137–172, 2007) is a composite indicator that measures risk from an integrated perspective and guides decision-making for identifying the main interdisciplinary factors of vulnerability to be reduced or intervened. The first step of the method is the evaluation of the potential physical damage (hard approach) as a result of the convolution of the seismic hazard with the physical vulnerability of buildings and infrastructure. Subsequently, a set of social context conditions that aggravate the physical effects is also considered (soft approach). According to this procedure, the physical risk index is evaluated for each unit of analysis from existing loss scenarios, whereas the total risk index is obtained by multiplying the former index by an impact factor using an aggravating coefficient, based on variables associated with the socio-economic conditions of each unit of analysis. The USRi has been developed using the underlying holistic and multi-hazard approach of the Urban Risk Index framework proposed for the evaluation of disaster risk in different megacities worldwide. This article presents the sensitivity analysis of the index to different parameters such as input data, weights and transformation functions used for the scaling or normalization of variables. This analysis has been performed using the Monte Carlo simulation to validate the robustness of this composite indicator, understanding as robustness how the cities maintain the ranking as well as predefined risk level ranges, when compared with the deterministic results of risk. Results are shown for different cities of the world.

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Published on 01/01/2009

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