Lessons learned from the Ezgeleh–Sarpol Zahab earthquake of November 2017: status of damage and disposal of disaster waste

Amirhomayoun Saffarzadeh, Takayuki Shimaoka, Hirofumi Nakayama, Saeed Afsari Fard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


A massive earthquake of magnitude Mw 7.3 shook Kermanshah Province in Western Iran along the Iraqi border on November 12, 2017. The epicenter of the earthquake was approximately 10 km southwest of Ezgeleh Town in Kermanshah Province. Field observations almost 4 months after the disaster indicated that the earthquake had caused tremendous damage to most structures in both urban and rural areas, and left an enormous amount of disaster waste. To investigate the status of the damage and disposal of the disaster waste, remote sensing was conducted using an unmanned aerial vehicle (drone). Through the capture of low-altitude images by drone and the generation of 3D models, the quantity of debris accumulated in a waste disposal facility near Sarpol Zahab was estimated at approximately 480,000 m3. A compositional analysis of the disaster waste was performed using an imaging technique. This revealed that the disaster waste was largely composed of concrete (39.6%), hollow brick (35.4%), and gypsum (21.2%) in the urban area, whereas soil was the dominant component (77.4%) in the rural area. The damage caused to most buildings was essentially due to their non-standard construction. The management of debris from the damaged buildings was a critical issue for the authorities, and the lack of preparedness was a serious drawback that consumed an enormous amount of time, budget, and workforce. A practical post-disaster preparedness plan would help the decision-makers and the public to manage the otherwise overwhelming nature of the post-disaster conditions in a more reasonable manner.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)301-317
Number of pages17
JournalWaste Disposal and Sustainable Energy
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution


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