Risk Indexing (Sunday, 8 June 2014, 15:45 – 17:30)

Validation of the Social Vulnerability Index in a Cross-National Context
Christopher T. EMRICH (Presented by Susan L. CUTTER) (USA)

Evaluating Natural Disaster Risk in Cambodia: Exploring Asset Risk and Production Interdependency
Junko MOCHIZUKI (Austria)

Urban Seismic Risk Index for Medellín: a Probabilistic and Holistic Approach
Mario-Andrés SALGADO-GÁLVEZ (Spain)

Comparing Impacts of Long and Short Term Disasters on Urban-Rural Systems in India
Nitin SRIVASTAVA (Japan)


Validation of the Social Vulnerability Index in a Cross-National Context

Christopher T. EMRICH, Wenfang CHEN, Beatriz L. HUMMELL, Clémence Guillard GONÇALVES and Susan L. CUTTER
Department of Geography, University of South Carolina, Columbia, USA

This paper presents the results of a comparative assessment of the Social Vulnerability Index (SoVI) developed in the United States of America (USA) and applied to other regions and nations as a means for validation. The SoVI algorithm was used to examine the social vulnerability in the Yangtze River Delta, China (at the city scale), Brazil (city scale), Lisbon (civil parishes), and in the New York metropolitan area (census tract). Variables included in each of the different SoVIs were adjusted to reflect the cultural context and data availability in the test cases; but all align with the broad concepts in the vulnerability indicator literature. All test cases used the same methodological, analytical, mapping and visualisation procedures. The results show that the SoVI is amenable to other nations with different data inputs. The number of factors identified ranged from six to 10, with 68-80 per cent of the variance explained, consistent with other SoVI studies conducted in the USA. The explained variance was better for the smaller scale studies (Lisbon and Yangtze River Delta). The mapping of the results shows clear geographic patterns of vulnerability within each of the study areas, which was confirmed by local knowledge experts. This replication demonstrates the robustness of the SoVI to capture the multi-dimensional nature of vulnerability. It also illustrates the successful adaptation of the metric to other regions.

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Evaluating Natural Disaster Risk in Cambodia: Exploring Asset Risk and Production Interdependency

International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

Repeated natural disasters continue to threaten the livelihoods of many in developing countries. Cambodia is no exception, with recurrent natural calamities such as floods and droughts continuing to hamper the country’s poverty alleviation goals. This study examines the link between livelihoods and disaster risk in Cambodia through the use of combined risk and economic models. It first examines the current natural disaster risk facing Cambodia and its economic preparedness using the Catastrophe Simulation Model (CATSIM). The results of CATSIM simulation are then integrated into the Dynamic Inoperability Input-Output model to illustrate how direct economic impacts on particular sectors may ripple through the rest of the economy. The study subsequently evaluates the effectiveness of ex-ante and ex-post disaster preparedness measures in mitigating adverse economic impacts.

By developing an integrated model of risk and production interdependency, this study aims to highlight the broader developmental implications of natural disasters over-time, beyond commonly used indicators such as direct damage to physical infrastructure. Publicly available datasets, such as the Cambodian Disaster Loss and Damage (CamDi) dataset and Input-Output data, are used to quantify the broader impact of natural disasters on economy.

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Urban Seismic Risk Index for Medellín: a Probabilistic and Holistic Approach

Mario-Andrés SALGADO-GÁLVEZ1, Alex BARBAT1, Omar Darío CARDONA3, Martha-Liliana CARREÑO1, Cesar VELASQUEZ1, and Daniela ZULOAGA-ROMERO2 

  1. Centro Internacional de Métodos Numéricos en Ingeniería (CIMNE)
  2. Illinois Institute of Technology
  3. Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Sede Manizales

A fully probabilistic seismic risk assessment of Medellín, Colombia, was conducted using a building-by-building resolution on more than 200,000 assets. An updated seismic hazard assessment has been made for the area of analysis and a set of stochastic seismic scenarios was generated in order to compute the physical risk in a probabilistic manner. Also, since the city has a seismic microzonation study, the dynamic soil response was taken into account. A set of building classes was identified and vulnerability functions were used to calculate the seismic risk in terms of probabilistic metrics using several modules of the CAPRA Platform. Risk premiums in terms of economic losses and casualties were calculated and aggregated at county level. A holistic approach was used to take into account social fragility and lack of resilience conditions at each county that could increase the second order effects if a strong quake strikes the city. These conditions were captured from a set of indicators meant to capture the aggravating conditions of the direct physical impact, the second order effects, and the intangible impact of future seismic events. A comprehensive Urban Seismic Risk Index was obtained for each county in order to communicate risk to stakeholders and decision-makers, helping identifying areas that would be particularly problematic in terms of seismic vulnerability, both physical and social. This is a complete example of how integrated research of risk assessment has been made eliminating the gap between the risk analysis and assessment, and the relevance for risk management decision-making.

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Comparing Impacts of Long and Short Term Disasters on Urban-Rural Systems in India

Graduate School of Global Environmental Studies, Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan

The paper will compare the impacts of long term disaster (salinity) and short term disaster (urban floods) on urban-rural systems in Gujarat state of India. Changing rural-urban interactions affect the livelihoods of low income and vulnerable groups in urban and rural settlements. At the same time the disasters in either of the constituents (urban or rural) might affect the other. For example, disasters in peri-urban and rural areas may stimulate an increased influx into urban areas (including small urban centres), as rural people who were already experiencing livelihood stresses choose to rebuild where they see better prospects for the future. The developmental growth of metropolitan areas, vulnerable to natural hazards, can be sustained if, in addition to the consideration of the attributes of the relationship of development and urban-rural linkage, there is emphasis on how these linkages behave in disaster situations. Therefore it is important to consider the rationale of rural-urban interactions in understanding disaster effects.

Through the case studies of Ahmedabad, affected by urban floods, and Jamnagar affected by salinity since 30 years, the authors intend to analyse the impacts of two types of disasters on the linkage elements. In the case of developing countries like India, the urban and rural areas are linked through several elements: people, natural resources, financial resources, product, waste, information, social interactions and governance. Each of these elements’ behaviour would be analysed to ascertain the impact. The findings of these impacts can be useful to devise policies for poverty reduction and regional growth, taking into account the negative role played by these disasters.

In summary, the paper intends to address the following questions:

  • Do different scales of disasters have different effects on the urban-rural systems?
  • Do different scales of cities (in this case Class A and Class B cities) determine the effects of disasters on the regional growth?
  • In which sectors should the government intervene to alleviate poverty and enhance regional growth?

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