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Vulnerability to Disasters


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  • 1. Vulnerability Analysis David Alexander University College London
  • 2. The components of risk Physical disaster Magnitude Frequency Duration Human vulnerability Exposure Location of hazard Environment Resistance Lifestyle and earnings Health Resilience Adjustments Risk reduction activities Preparations for disaster After Ian Davis (2005)
  • 3. Uncertain future: long-term trends climate change capacity to adapt Livelihoods: security and wealth generation Hazards and risks: disaster preparedness Governance: democratic participation in decision making RESILIENCE: managing risks adapting to change securing resources
  • 4. Vulnerability is constructed socially • it is mainly the result of social, economic, political and cultural factors in decision-making • it is becoming harder to reduce.
  • 5. Trends in disaster losses are unsustainable. In the second half of the 20th century the world experienced increases of: • 250% in the number of recorded disasters • 500% in number of disasters with victims • 500% in the number of affected people • 1640% in the cost of insured damage. • 1500% in the total cost of disasters Disasters 1900-2010
  • 6. Then (1950s) Now (2013) Under-reporting of disasters More complete recording Counting only direct effects Quantifying indirect effects Smaller population of hazardous places Larger population, greater densities Less inequality Growing inequality and marginalisation Less fixed capital at risk Relentless accumulation of fixed capital Simpler socio-economic networks More complex networks
  • 7. • social and technological complexity are increasing • fixed capital is being accumulated • the world is becoming more polarised • urbanisation and the growth of "mega-cities". Societies are becoming more vulnerable
  • 8. Vulnerability approach • people, not physical forces, are the principal cause of risks and disasters • focus on reducing community vulnerability • "soft" rather than "hard" approaches • "bottom-up" (grass roots) approach.
  • 9. A sample of the annual pattern of casualties in natural disasters
  • 10. A sample of the annual pattern of losses in natural disasters
  • 11. Deathtolls Economic losses Differential impact of disasters Developing countries and depressed urban areas of developed countries Developed countries and the richest cities of the developing world
  • 12. What exactly is vulnerability?
  • 13. Risk Civil defence Hazard Vulnerability Threat Exposure Response Mitigation Protection Civil protection
  • 14. Vulnerability is... • the potential degree of loss resulting from a particular hazard or set of hazards of a given magnitude • the potential for harm • something that is constructed socially • the inverse of capability (coping, resilience).
  • 15. UNESCO / UNDRO (1982) Definitions of Hazard and Risk Terminology Vulnerability (V): the degree of loss to a given element or set of elements at risk resulting from the occurrence of a hazardous phenomenon of a given magnitude. It is expressed on a scale from 0 (no damage) to 1 (total loss)
  • 16. Vulnerability Total: life is generally precarious Residual: caused by lack of modernisation Newly generated: caused by changes in circumstances Delinquent: caused by corruption, negligence, etc. Economic: people lack adequate occupation Technological technocratic: caused by the riskiness of technology
  • 17. Primary • cause and effect Secondary • interaction of causes • coincidences Complex • complicated interactions VULNERABILITY
  • 18. (Hazard x Vulnerability x Exposure) Resilience = Risk [ → Impact → Response] Hazard x (Vulnerability / Resilience) [x Exposure] = Risk [ → Impact → Response] ....alternatively:-
  • 19. VulnerabilityHazard An asset is not vulnerable unless it is threatened by something A hazard is not hazardous unless it threatens something RISK Extreme events Elements at risk Resilience Exposure
  • 20. Disaster management Emergency management Crisis management Risk management Vulnerability management Hypothetical Concrete Concentrated Diffuse
  • 21. Verticalaxisscales: Hazard:probabilityofoccurrence Vulnerability:potentialdamage Risk:valueofprobablecostsandlosses Severity Risk as product of hazard and vulnerability Total annual predicted costs and losses Rising vulnerability with increasing seriousness of potential consequences Falling hazard with diminishing probability of occurrence Fat-tailed distribution
  • 22. The role of perception
  • 23. Risk amplification factors Risk mitigation factors Total vulnerability Risk perception factors- +positivenegative DIALECTIC
  • 24. Causes of disaster natural geophysical, technological, social History single and cumulative impact of past disasters Human cultures constraints and opportunities IMPACTS Adaptation to risk RESILIENCE
  • 25. Diffusion of information Perceptual filter Cultural filter Emergency not decoded Emergency decoded Ignorance Images of reality Symbolic constructions Enlightenment
  • 26. Long term Short term Emic components Etic components METAMORPHOSIS OF CULTURE Experiences of culture [mass-media and consumer culture] Accumulated cultural traits and beliefs Inherited cultural background Ideological (non-scientific) interpretations of disaster Learned (scientific) interpretations of disaster
  • 27. Value system Family culture Work culture Peer group culture Personal culture National culture Regional culture
  • 28. Technology organisations safety culture Ethnology societies community culture Psychology ethnic groups individual culture Communication mass media multicultural societies
  • 29. Filter Perception Culture Decision Action Result Positive Negative Risk Accurate Inaccurate
  • 30. Technology as risk mitigation Technology as a source of vulnerability Research, development and investment in technology individual family peer group organisation community society international Culturalfilter Sociocentrism Technocentrism
  • 31. Cultural filter Risk management practices Benign Malignant Technology as a source of risk reduction Technology as an inadvertent source of risk Technology as a deliberate source of risk Ceaseless development of technology
  • 32. Large disaster Increased expenditure Return of complacency Risk-expenditure cycle Deaths, injuries, hardship, damage, disruption Review Reduced riskNo disaster Reduced expenditure Increased risk
  • 33. Disaster Public outcry Rhetoric Logic Laws Safety culture The evolution of a safety culture
  • 34. What exactly is resilience?
  • 35. Vulnerability = 1 / resilience Resilience: mechanisms for avoiding impacts or absorbing them by coping Coping strategies: • indigenous • imported
  • 36. What is resilience [resiliency]? • a combination of resistance and adaptation (coping, capacity, capability) • ability to maintain livelihoods and tenor of life in the face of disaster shocks • local autonomy and self-sufficiency.
  • 37. Attitude The ingredients of resilience
  • 38. • robustness: resist stress without loss of function • redundancy: ability to continue functioning during periods of disruption • ingenuity: ability to identify problems and mobilise resources • rapidity: ability to satisfy objectives and priorities so as to reduce losses. The four dimensions of RESILIENCE:-
  • 39. Recovery and reconstruction Mitigation and resilience Preparation and mobilisation Emergency intervention Quiescence Crisis The disaster cycle
  • 40. needs to be shortenedneeds to be lengthened preparation for the next event warning and evacuation recovery and reconstruction repair of basic services emergency management and rescue isolation impact needs to be strengthenedRisk reduction and disaster mitigation
  • 41. Conclusions
  • 42. Disaster opens a window of opportunity for positive change and greater security
  • 43. The optimistic view
  • 44. What is sustainable vulnerability reduction? • it is centred upon the local level (but is harmonised from above) • through consultation it has the support and involvement of the population • plans tackle all the phases of the disaster cycle - in an integrative way • it is a fundamental, every-day service for the population and is taken seriously.
  • 46. Resilience against disasters: Ten suggestions for action
  • 47. Organised non-structural protection Enhanced structural protection Planning, warning and preparedness Fusion with sustainability agenda Policy outcomes Protection strategy
  • 48. Tell people what to do in a crisis.
  • 49. Develop urban search and rescue capacity on site.
  • 50. Reduce non-structural as well as structural hazards.
  • 51. Plan flexibly.
  • 52. Create networks.
  • 53. Encourage governance.
  • 54. Adapt and disseminate good practice.
  • 55. Ensure that Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) programmes are sustainable
  • 56. Create a strategy for recovering from the next disaster.
  • 57. Create a culture of resilience against disasters.
  • 58. ...and avoid the myth of panic: it should not be treated as a relevant factor in emergency planning
  • 59. Exposure Sensitivity Capacity to adapt VULNERA- BILITY Dimensions of vulnerability: • exposure • sensitivity • capacity to adapt Components of the dimensions Measures of the components
  • 60. Vulnerability • Dimensions • Components • Measures Exposure Sensitivity Capacity to adapt VULNERA- BILITY Physical dimensions Age of the infrastructure Age and income of the population Demo- graphy Technology Res- ponse Management structureAccess to information and technology Exposed res- ources Exposed population Intensity Frequency Location Number Wealth and well being Tax revenues Emergency plans Level of education Information services
  • 61. Analysis • registered • archived • forgotten • ignored Vulnerability maintained - • utilised • adopted • learned Disaster risk reduced + Lessons Past events The process of disaster risk reduction (DRR)
  • 62. A guide to recognizing vulnerability in the field
  • 63. How to estimate vulnerability in the field Elements: • buildings and physical structures • lifelines and infrastructure • patterns of activity that put people at risk • perceptions of hazard • concentrations and patterns of elements at risk.
  • 64. NB: Most of the following slides show post hoc indications of vulnerability.
  • 65. Squatter settlement in Bangladesh Flood level Normal river level Rather than mitigating the sources of vulnerability to disaster, globalisation is maintaining, exporting and reinforcing them by its divide-and-rule strategies
  • 66. Peruvian Andes, Eastern Cordillera Rock debris slide-fall Destroyed houses
  • 67. The 'megacity' problem
  • 68. Tehran
  • 69. Tehran
  • 70. Kathmandu
  • 71. Kathmandu
  • 72. İstanbul
  • 73. İstanbul
  • 74. Tokyo
  • 75. Poor building quality (low seismic resistance) Proximity to epicentre and fault rupture Topographic amplification Sedimentary amplification Q E T S Concentration of casualties C C = f { E,Q,S,T } Deaths Injuries Q E T S Vulnerability to earthquakes
  • 76. 'Window' of active fault with mullion slickensides and normal (vertical downwards) displacement Seismic consolidation- compaction subsidence at fault boundary
  • 77. Vulnerability in the connection between wall and joist leads to collapse of the structure in an earthquake
  • 78. Random rubble masonry with powdery lime mortar is a major source of vulnerability in historic and old buildings.
  • 79. Collapse often begins at roof level if roof structure is too rigid and poorly tied to vertical load-bearing members.
  • 80. Cornices,parapets and other façade details are particularly vulnerable to damage in earthquakes. [four people were crushed to death here]
  • 81. Inadequately constructed frame buildings are vulnerable to progressive collapse.
  • 82. Stairwells are often the most vulnerable part of the building during earthquakes, and the first part that people use as they try to escape.
  • 83. Zone of interference Differential movements
  • 84. Pre-earthquake roof-line Replacement stonework
  • 85. Self-protection during earthquakes and tornadoes is NOT fostered by the myth that it is safe to shelter under desks and tables.
  • 86. Rim of caldera blasted apart in A.D. 79 Cone active A.D. 1631-1944 Europe's most densely populated municipality (population 80,000 in 4.5
  • 87. 0 1 2 3 4 5 km Tyrrhenian Sea Mt Vesuvius Portici Ercolano ( and Herculaneum) Mt Somma Naples Barra Pompeii Torre del Greco Torre Annunziata San Giuseppe Vesuviano Main lava flow, pyroclastic flow and lahar hazard areas Densely settled areas Tephra fallout areas Population at risk min: 650,000 max: 3.1 million
  • 88. Somma-Vesuvius Portici (pop. 80,000) 1631 pyroclastic flow
  • 89. 1631 pyroclastic flow (4000 dead in Portici)
  • 90. recent flank cone 19th century lava flows homes of 1-3 million people Mount Vesuvius
  • 91. Forward thrust Nodes are first to fail Columns shear through under sustained pressure Landslide direction
  • 92. Spontaneous toppling failure in unconsolidated sands Backward rotation of toppled blocks Bedrooms where four people died
  • 93. Spontaneous total failure of foundations Spontaneous total failure of r-c frame bldg ...with some forward thrust
  • 94. Tranquil Alpine scene ...with debris flow ...and several brand-new hotels at its foot
  • 95. ...and boulders that went right through!
  • 96. Presentations can be downloaded from:- Thank you for your attention!