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Analysis of social vulnerability to hazards in China

Lixin, Yi, Xi, Zhang, Lingling, Ge, Dong, Zhao
Environmental earth sciences 2014 v.71 no.7 pp. 3109-3117
at-risk population, cities, disasters, mathematical models, China
To improve natural disaster management, it is important to recognize the variability of the vulnerable populations exposed to hazards and to develop location-based emergency plans accordingly. This paper presents a mathematical model to establish a model of social vulnerability index (SoVI), which includes 12 social variables, and the regional social vulnerability to natural hazards was formulated by them. Taking a city as statistical unit, the variability of vulnerability to natural hazards was explored among the 323 cities based on the SoVI. The results indicate that vulnerability is a location-based regional phenomenon, with the most vulnerable cities being located in the southwest of China and the eastern areas being generally less vulnerable. The results will be helpful for policy makers to formulate disaster management plans, which can be beneficial for people in more vulnerable areas who are responding to, coping with, and recovering from natural disasters.