Assessment of seismic damage to buildings in resilient Byblos City

Nisrine Makhoul, Christopher Navarro, Jong Sung Lee, Alda Abi-Youness

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Byblos, one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is indeed a resilient city that has thrived for more than 7000 years while mitigating shocks and stresses. Byblos, at the threshold of the 21st century, is still adapting, growing and changing. In this paper, aiming to bridge between international heritage resilience and disaster risk management: first, the resilience of international heritage is discussed in general and resilience qualities of Byblos in particular; second earthquakes, one of the main threats faced by Byblos is identified; and third the earthquake damage to Byblos buildings is assessed by mean of different likely earthquake scenarios. For that purpose, data for Byblos building inventory have been gathered through a ground survey. The earthquake hazard for the region has been defined, hazard maps have been digitized, and structural vulnerability functions were assigned. After preparation of the needed files using the Geographic Information System, the Ergo platform was used to model the earthquake-induced building damage. It was obtained that the unreinforced masonry structure type is the most vulnerable to earthquakes, the reinforced masonry structures type is the second most vulnerable, followed by reinforced concrete frame structures, and finally by reinforced concrete frames with shear walls structures. It was recommended to upgrade, whenever possible, the unreinforced masonry buildings to reinforced masonry buildings while preserving their historical aspect, and to strengthen the frame concrete buildings by adding shear walls whenever possible. All new buildings to be constructed in the future are recommended to strictly follow the codes. This study helps to gain a better understanding of the extent of potential damage; it allows establishing an earthquake preparedness strategy and recovery plan to enhance the resilience of the city.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12-22
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction
StatePublished - Sep 1 2016


  • Building
  • Byblos
  • Earthquake damage estimations
  • International heritage
  • Resilience

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Safety Research
  • Geology


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