EARTHQUAKE EMERGENCY ROAD NETWORK: Framework for
Prioritization of Road Network in Emergency Response, A Case Study of Lalitpur –
Ward No. 12
Ar. Sweta Amatya Shrestha
Department of Civil Engineering
Institute of engineering
Transportation is the spine for the development of every
nation. In Nepal, road network holds that role. Concerning
many disasters, Nepal could not escape from earthquake, as it
has carved its destructive events in its history till to-date. Great
earthquakes of Nepal like of 1934 and 1988 have caused huge
damages to every sector including road networks. Road
networks vulnerability is the major obscurities in post disaster
phase especially at the first 72 hours of rescue. Being on the
lap of seismic prone country and existence of haphazard urban
setup, situation will be perilous in Kathmandu Valley
aftermath of earthquake. Thus, study focuses on road network
accessibility for rescue operation.
In the study, Inversion Hierarchical Weight Process (IHWP) –
method used in Tehran for accessing road vulnerability, has
been tested in piloted area of Lalitpur - ward no.12. Piloted
area comprises of traditional settlements with high influence of
modern structures with narrow and wide access roads. This
setup resembles most of the core area of Kathmandu Valley.
Thus, it manifests to develop the framework for prioritization
of road network in emergency response phase.
Further, by analyzing road vulnerability, road blockage and
priority routes in the piloted area, road networks have been
prioritized. After conducting task on the area, framework for
road network prioritization for emergency response in
earthquake scenario has been developed which could be used
in other urban sector of Kathmandu Valley for the same
Key Words: Road Vulnerability, Emergency Response, IHWP,
Transportation infrastructure is one of the
communicating medium. In context of Nepal, road
networks hold prime importance in this sector. There are
basically nine different types of roads (NRS- 1998) that
have embellished Nepal. Time and again, these
embellishments have been affected by earthquake.
Earthquake of 1988 has portrayed this fact reflecting
both functional as well as physical impacts. These
impacts account much in emergency response phase.
Inaccessibility to the affected area due to debris on road
network has imparted loss of lives in Haiti and result
could be same in context of Kathmandu Valley too.
Therefore, road network accessibility has prominent role
in emergency response phase. These are generally
termed as Emergency Road Network. Physical
characteristics of this sort of road is basically govern by
width of the road, redundancy, selection of the road
avoiding man-made hazards as well as tall constructions
and less selection number. Similarly, vulnerability of
road network is basically governed by building
vulnerability, road vulnerability and road blockage as
For the purpose, study area has been selected in the
Lalitpur municipality Ward number 12. As per ward
profile, this ward occupies 82 hectares of lands. Part of
the community from Tangal to Lagankhel stretch has
been considered. As the study focuses on accessibility,
road stretches surrounding the study area and along
ward 5, 15 and 19 has been considered as the study area.
Figure 1 : Study Area
Existence of mixed residential area incorporating old
and new buildings alongside the road stretches; variation
of road typologies ranging from alleys till black top road
network and mixed land use pattern such as residential
and commercial including street vendors has made the
area vulnerable in aftermath scenario. On the other hand,
Ward Report as well as report by NSET on ward number
12 has depicted on the fact about earthquake
vulnerability of the area. Due to this reason area has
been selected for the study. Figure below gives the
glimpses of the area.
Research holds Positivist Paradigm as research is based
on quantitative and some qualitative analysis.
Quantitative Approach has been carried out to collect
and analyze the current situation of the study area on
road networks regarding earthquake emergency
response. Further, data has been analyzed through
various calculations. Research holds Deduction logic to
analyze quantitative data through IHWP- method.
Further, Induction logic has been considered to develop
framework from the analyzed data.
Research has been conducted with all 225 numbers of
buildings presented over there as each building accounts
a lot in blockage of road network. Further, study has
been processed following five steps such as
Connectivity, Building Vulnerability, Road
Vulnerability Rank, and Road Network prioritization for
rescue, Road Blockage Analysis, Prioritization of road
network for response operation and finally framework
for prioritization of road network in Emergency
Response has been developed.
Connectivity of the study area till open space and
hospital has been considered in the study as these are the
important response function in aftermath scenario. So,
road matrix from community area till Namuna
Machhindra School and Patan hospital has been
considered. These places have been approached in the
area through two stretches from Ity tole and Lagankhel
tole respectively following redundancy characteristics of
emergency road network. Road stretches that connects
those places holds different characteristics as portrayed
in table below:
(Tangal – Prayakpokhari) 11'-2" 564'-9"
R (Prayakpokhari) 5'-3" 162'-3"
R2(Prayakpokhari) 15'-4" 612'
R3 (Tangal – Lagankhel) 14'-6" 306'-9"
R4 (Thati tole-Lagakhel bus park) 17'-7" 849'-5"
R5(Ity tole-Patan Hospital) 26'-4" 600'-3"
R6(Ity tole Stretch) 16'-3" 584'-5"
R7(Lagankhel) 36'-11" 553'-8"
Figure 2 : Alleys Figure 3 : Black Topped road
Figure 4 : Mixed Land use
Table 1 : Road Typology
Figure 5 : Road Typology
Study area has been shaped with both old and new
buildings ranging from adobe, brick in mud, brick in
cement and reinforced buildings. According to the study
carried out in the area through Rapid Visual Assessment
tool, it has been found that each stretch holds more than
40% of vulnerable buildings. Among them, road R and
R6 holds maximum vulnerable buildings.
Road Vulnerability Rank
Road Vulnerability Ranking has been carried out
through IHWP-method that has been referenced through
Tehran document. This method is applied when single
entity has to be judge by multiple indexes. Indexes
considered here are building quality, population and
building density, inclusion degree, land use and PGA.
These indexes have been ranked according to their
importance as per expert’s view and reverse scoring has
been given accordingly. Table below portrayed the
Further, each index has been classified as per surveyed
data and score of each class has been calculated through
formulae presented below:
Primary Score, X = D/N
where, D = Reverse Score based on its rank
N = Number of classes of each indexes
Score for different classes of index,
j = D – (N – i) * X
where, i= Assigned number to different classes of each
Calculated score for each class of indexes are presented
Based on these criteria, road vulnerability ranking has
been carried out and data portrayed the following facts:
Indexes Classification Score
quality 0-0.4(1) 2
0.8-1 (3) 6
density 0-0.0.1(1) 1.25
density 0-2(1) 1.33
degree 0-1.0(1) 0.6
Land use Low risk(1) 0.67
Medium risk(2) 1.33
High risk(3) 2
PGA 300 1
Building Quality 1 6
Building Density 2 5
Population Density 3 4
Inclusion Degree 4 3
Land use 5 2
PGA 6 1
Road ID Road Vulnerability Rank
Table 2 : Indexes Ranking
Table 4 : Road Vulnerability Rank
Table 3 : Indexes Classification
Road Network Prioritization for rescue
Primary concern on rescue operation is to save life of
the people. During this phase main obscurities will be
vulnerable buildings and land use pattern of the area. So,
concerning these factor roads has been prioritized in the
study area and a result has been accounted as below:
Road Blockage Analysis
Road accessibility is accounted by the presence of
vulnerable buildings along its side. Road blockage
relates to the one third of the height of the vulnerable
building. Based on this data showed the following facts:
Road ID Accessibility
Prioritization of road network for response operation
Different criteria have given different value and
different priority. So, comparative analysis of road
vulnerability, priority and accessibility has been carried
out to figure out the road prioritization. Result has been
Priority Road for debris removal
Data has shown that road R1 is vulnerable, holds high
priority for rescue activity and is impassable due to
debris coverage. Therefore, as per the priority this
section of the road must be cleared first.
Priority Road for Rescue Activity
Data portrayed that road R5 and R6 holds least priority
for rescue activity with low vulnerability and are
accessible so following road matrix has been selected as:
Road matrix R6-R5 has been selected for the passage
Road matrix R4 has been selected for the passage to
Road ID Road Priority
R1, R6 5
R1 3 5 Inaccessible
R 6 6 Inaccessible
R2 2 2 Accessible
R3 1 1 Accessible
R4 5 3 Accessible
R5 7 4 Accessible
R6 4 5 Accessible
Table 5 : Road Priority Rank
Namuna Machhindra School
Ward No: 12
Table 6 : Road Blockage Analysis
Table 7 : Comparative Analysis
Figure 7 : Priority Route for rescue operation
Figure 6 : Road Blockage analysis
R3: Accessible R1: Priority 1
R: Priority 2
IV. CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION
Analysis has shown that IHWP- method is one of the
method that can be used for road vulnerability
assessment. Based on the study carried out, framework
for prioritization of road network for emergency
response has been developed to figure out the priority
routes in other urban sectors of Kathmandu valley.
Recommended framework for prioritization of road
network for emergency response has been presented in
This framework will be applicable for the
urban area holding following characteristics:
a. Core urban area with conglomeration of
b. Area holding all five types of buildings like
AD, BC, BM, RC3 and RC5
c. Urban area holding different types of road
typology ranging from alleys, under ways till
d. Area holding less or no traffic flow
Henceforth, the framework for road network
prioritization has been developed from post disaster
earthquake point of view to facilitate quick accessibility
in aftermath scenario. This framework can further be
used to prioritize road network in other urban sector of
Kathmandu valley holding similar urban characteristics
as that of the piloted area.
Figure 8 : Framework for road network prioritization in Emergency Response
I express my sincere gratitude to my supervisors Mr.
Hari Darshan Shrestha (CoRD) and Mr. Surya Narayan
Shrestha (NSET) for their constant guidance and
I am gratified to Prof. Dr. Jibraj Pokharel (IOE), Mrs.
Bhubaneshwori Parajuli (NSET), Ar. Inu Salike (IOE),
Mr. Ramesh Guragai (NSET) and Dr. Uttar Kumar
Regmi (Kathmandu Municipality), for their precious
suggestion regarding topic selection.
I am obliged to Mr. Prakash Raghubanshi (TIDP, Singha
Durbar) for his support and guidance throughout thesis
preparation. I am also thankful to Mr. Pradeep Prasad
Koirala (MoHA) for his valuable guidance and
information as an expert in his fields of expertise and
providing necessary document. I would like to thank Mr.
Sagar Krishna Joshi (DUDBC) and Mr. Binaya Charan
Shrestha (DUDBC) for providing necessary materials
and important information needed for the study.
I would like to make special reference to Mr. Kamal
Torabi (Tehran), for clarifying the concept of road
vulnerability assessment used in Tehran. I am equally
grateful towards Mr. Gopi. K. Basyal (NSET) and Mr.
Narendra Man Shakya (IOE) for their guidance in
clarifying the concept of IHWP-method. I am really
grateful towards Dr. Jishnu Subedi (IOE) for providing
materials and guidance regarding RVA-tool.
My sincere thanks go to Ward office of Lalitpur (Ward
No.-12), Ms. Mohan Laxmi Shakya (CDMC member),
Ms. Nidhi Tamrakar (Red Cross) and Ms. Santa Maya
Tamrakar for providing me relevant information related
to the study area.
Last but not the least; I am indebted to my family who
were always been there for my devotion to the work and
thankful to my friends who helped me for the work.
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