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Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 12, issue 6 | Copyright
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 12, 1987-2001, 2012
© Author(s) 2012. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research article 25 Jun 2012

Research article | 25 Jun 2012

Quantifying human vulnerability in rural areas: case study of Tutova Hills (Eastern Romania)

I. C. Stângă and A. Grozavu I. C. Stângă and A. Grozavu
  • Department of Geography, Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iasi, Carol I 20A, Iasi, Romania

Abstract. This paper aims to assess the vulnerability at regional level, the model and the proposed indicators being explicitly intended for an essentially rural region, in this case–Tutova Hills (Eastern Romania). Five categories of variables were taken into account to define the vulnerability components: rural habitat, demographic features, agriculture, environmental quality and emergency situations. For each one, five variables were analyzed and ranked based on the level of determination or subordination. In order to ensure the flexibility of the model and to avoid the criteria duplication in assessing vulnerability, only a single indicator of each category was retained and included in analysis: total number of inhabitants, dependency ratio, weight of arable land on slope categories, weight of land under forestry and road accessibility of villages. The selected indicators were mathematically processed in order to maximize their relevance and to unitary express the results in the spread 0–1. Also, values of each indicator were grouped into four classes, corresponding to the level of vulnerability: low, medium, high and very high. A general index was obtained through the integration of vulnerability factors in an equation based on the geometric mean. Spatial analysis was based on features of the MicroImages TNTmips 7.3. software, which allow the vulnerability mapping. This approach argues and states that vulnerability assessment through indicator-based methods can be made only according to the level and scale of analysis and related to natural or human conditions of a region.

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