Methodological framework to integrate social and physical vulnerability in the prevention of seismic risk

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Izquierdo-Horna L.
Kahhat R.
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The huge variety of natural disasters that have occurred in Peru highlights the necessity, due to the social, economic and environmental impacts, to improve national risk and disaster management plans. Hence the need to evaluate vulnerability from a multidimensional perspective that allows the assessment of the social and physical conditions of the region. The main objective of this research is to help improve risk and disaster management plans by proposing a methodology that integrates the assessment of physical vulnerability (based on the physical characteristics of the infrastructure) with social vulnerability, as a result of the main sociodemographic variables. Using the Peruvian city of Chiclayo (located in the district of Chiclayo) as a case study, this methodology has been implemented for the specific case of earthquakes. In order to determine the overall vulnerability of this district, it was first necessary to determine each component, social and physical, separately. For the physical aspect of vulnerability, the amount of debris generated after a seismic event was used as a proxy. For the social aspect, representative and valid social indicators were used for the study area, such as level of education, age profile, permanent disability. By integrating both results, we obtain a global perspective on the vulnerability, giving equal importance, in the assessment of seismic risk, to the individual and infrastructure. The final result of this methodological tool is identification of which sectors need immediate help after a seismic event. Otherwise, if the seismic risk assessment is based only on information about physical aspects, certain areas of the district, that require urgent actions, may be neglected. Finally, this methodology is applicable for the different scales of analysis (e.g. country, region and district).
This project was partially funded by CONCYTEC, within the framework of the 232-2015-FONDECYT Agreement. The authors would like to thank Joshua Wolfe for his valuable comments on the previous version of this manuscript.
Palabras clave
social vulnerability, physical vulnerability, risk and disaster management, social indicators