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Title: Improving urban seismic risk estimates for Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, through incorporating recently gained geological knowledge of hazards
Authors: Amey, Ruth M. J.
Elliott, John R.
Watson, C. Scott
Walker, Richard
Pagani, Marco
Silva, Vitor
Hussain, Ekbal
Abdrakhmatov, Kanatbek E.
Baikulov, Sultan
Kyzy, Gulkaiyr Tilek
Keywords: Science::Geology
Issue Date: 2022
Source: Amey, R. M. J., Elliott, J. R., Watson, C. S., Walker, R., Pagani, M., Silva, V., Hussain, E., Abdrakhmatov, K. E., Baikulov, S. & Kyzy, G. T. (2022). Improving urban seismic risk estimates for Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, through incorporating recently gained geological knowledge of hazards. Natural Hazards.
Journal: Natural Hazards 
Abstract: Many cities are built on or near active faults, which pose seismic hazard and risk to the urban population. This risk is exacerbated by city expansion, which may obscure signs of active faulting. Here, we estimate the risk to Bishkek city, Kyrgyzstan, due to realistic earthquake scenarios based on historic earthquakes in the region and an improved knowledge of the active fault sources. We use previous literature and fault mapping, combined with new high-resolution digital elevation models to identify and characterise faults that pose a risk to Bishkek. We then estimate the hazard (ground shaking), damage to residential buildings and distribution of losses (economical cost and fatalities) using the Global Earthquake Model OpenQuake engine. We model historical events and hypothetical events on a variety of faults that could plausibly host significant earthquakes. This includes proximal, recognised, faults as well as a fault under folding in the north of the city that we identify using satellite DEMs. We find that potential earthquakes on faults nearest to Bishkek—Issyk Ata, Shamsi Tunduk, Chonkurchak and the northern fault—would cause the most damage to the city. An Mw 7.5 earthquake on the Issyk Ata fault could potentially cause 7900 ± 2600 completely damaged buildings, a further 16,400 ± 2000 damaged buildings and 2400 ± 1500 fatalities. It is vital to properly identify, characterise and model active faults near cities to reduce uncertainty as modelling the northern fault as a Mw 6.5 instead of Mw 6.0 would result in 37% more completely damaged buildings and 48% more fatalities.
ISSN: 0921-030X
DOI: 10.1007/s11069-022-05678-0
Research Centres: Institute of Catastrophe Risk Management (ICRM) 
Rights: © 2022 The Author(s). Open Access. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit
Fulltext Permission: open
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:ICRM Journal Articles

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