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Response time to flood events using a social vulnerability index (ReTSVI)

Current methods to estimate evacuation time during a natural disaster do not consider the socioeconomic and demographic characteristics of the population. This article develops the Response Time by Social Vulnerability Index (ReTSVI). ReTSVI combines a series of modules that are pieces of information that interact during an evacuation, such as evacuation rate curves, mobilization, inundation models, and social vulnerability indexes, to create an integrated map of the evacuation rate in a given location. We provide an example of the application of ReTSVI in a potential case of a severe flood event in Huaraz, Peru. The results show that during the first 5 min of the evacuation, the population that lives in neighborhoods with a high social vulnerability evacuates 15 % and 22 % fewer people than the blocks with medium and low social vulnerability. These differences gradually decrease over time after the evacuation warning, and social vulnerability becomes less relevant after 30 min. The results of the application example have no statistical significance, which should be considered in a real case of application. Using a methodology such as ReTSVI could make it possible to combine social and physical vulnerability in a qualitative framework for evacuation, although more research is needed to understand the socioeconomic variables that explain the differences in evacuation rate.
Author: Hofflinger, Alvaro; Somos-Valenzuela, Marcelo A.; Vallejos-Romero, Arturo
Language: English
Pubished By: Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences
Pubished date: 2019

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