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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 18, issue 8 | Copyright
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 18, 2221-2239, 2018
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 23 Aug 2018

Research article | 23 Aug 2018

Upgrading of an index-oriented methodology for consequence analysis of natural hazards: application to the Upper Guil catchment (southern French Alps)

Benoît Carlier1, Anne Puissant2, Constance Dujarric1, and Gilles Arnaud-Fassetta1 Benoît Carlier et al.
  • 1Université Paris-Diderot (Paris 7), Sorbonne Paris Cité, UMR 8586 PRODIG, 5 rue Thomas Mann, 75013 Paris, France
  • 2Université de Strasbourg, UMR 7362 LIVE, 3 rue de l'Argonne, 67000 Strasbourg, France

Abstract. Vulnerability is a complex concept involving a variety of disciplines from both the physical and socio-economic sciences. Currently, two opposite trends exist: the physical approach in which vulnerability is analysed as a sum of potential impacts on elements at risk and the social approach in which vulnerability is mostly viewed as a combination of socio-economic variables determining people's ability to anticipate, cope with and recover from a catastrophic event. Finding a way to combine these two approaches is a key issue for a global vulnerability assessment. In this paper we propose to combine elements from these two approaches through the analysis of the potential consequences of a high-magnitude flood event (recurrence interval (RI)>100 years) on human and material stakeholders. To perform our analysis, we choose to upgrade an existing index, the Potential Damage Index (PDI; Puissant et al., 2013), by including social criteria. The PDI was originally developed to assess the physical consequences of hazards on the elements at risk (people, building and lands). It is based on the calculation of three sub-indices representing different types of direct and indirect consequences: physical injury consequences (PIC), structural and functional consequences (SFC), indirect functional consequences (IC). Here, we propose to add a fourth sub-index representing the social consequences. This new sub-index, called social consequences (SC) is obtained by combining criteria derived from INSEE French census data and a risk-perception survey conducted in the field. By combining the four indices (PIC, SFC, IC and SC), we managed to create a new index called the Potential Consequences Index (PCI). The new PCI was tested on the Upper Guil catchment to assess the consequences of a high-magnitude flood event (RI>100 years). Results of the PDI were compared with the PCI and show significant differences. The upgrade to the PDI method provided us with many inputs. The introduction of elements from social vulnerability added an extra dimension to the total consequence map. It allowed us to qualify the potential physical consequences (physical injury, structural and functional consequences) on elements at risk by considering the global resilience of local communities.

Publications Copernicus
Short summary
The objective of this research is to improve an index originally developed to assess physical consequences of a considered hazard, by including socio-economic characteristics of population information. Data from the French census and a survey on risk perception (questionnaires) were used to propose an index taking into account the three main phases of risk management: preparedness, crisis management and recovery.
The objective of this research is to improve an index originally developed to assess physical...