Unzipping flood vulnerability and functionality loss: tale of struggle for existence of riparian buildings

Dipendra Gautam*, Rabindra Adhikari, Suraj Gautam, Vishnu Prasad Pandey, Bhesh Raj Thapa, Suraj Lamichhane, Rocky Talchabhadel, Saraswati Thapa, Sunil Niraula, Komal Raj Aryal, Pravin Lamsal, Subash Bastola, Sanjay Kumar Sah, Shanti Kala Subedi, Bijaya Puri, Bidur Kandel, Pratap Sapkota, Rajesh Rupakhety

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Floods pose significant risk to riparian buildings as evidenced during many historical events. Although structural resilience to tsunami flooding is well studied in the literature, high-velocity and debris-laden floods in steep terrains are not considered adequately so far. Historical floods in steep terrains necessitate the need for flood vulnerability analysis of buildings. To this end, we report vulnerability of riparian-reinforced concrete buildings using forensic damage interpretations and empirical/analytical vulnerability analyses. Furthermore, we propose the concept and implications of functionality loss due to flooding in residential reinforced concrete (RC) buildings using empirical data. Fragility functions using inundation depth and momentum flux are presented for RC buildings considering a recent flooding event in Nepal. The results show that flow velocity and sediment load, rather than hydrostatic load, govern the damages in riparian RC buildings. However, at larger inundation depth, hydrostatic force alone may collapse some of the RC buildings.

Original languageEnglish
JournalNatural Hazards
Early online date18 Jun 2022
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 18 Jun 2022

Bibliographical note

Copyright © The Author(s), 2022. 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 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/


  • Flood performance
  • Flood risk
  • Flood vulnerability
  • Fragility function
  • Functionality loss
  • RC
  • Riparian building


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