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Renewable Energy and Non Renewable Energy

New York, USA
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Community variations in social vulnerability to Cascadia-related tsunamis in the U

Author(s): Wood NJ, Burton CG, Cutter SL

Abstract

Tsunamis generated by Cascadia subduction zone earthquakes pose significant threats to coastal communities in the U.S. Pacific Northwest. Impacts of future tsunamis to individuals and communities will likely vary due to pre-event socioeconomic and demographic differences. In order to assess social vulnerability to Cascadia tsunamis, we adjust a social vulnerability index based on principal component analysis first developed by Cutter et al. (2003) to operate at the census-block level of geography and focus on community-level comparisons along the Oregon coast. The number of residents from blocks in tsunami-prone areas considered to have higher social vulnerability varies considerably among 26 Oregon cities and most are concentrated in four cities and two unincorporated areas. Variations in the number of residents from census blocks considered to have higher social vulnerability in each city do not strongly correlate with the number of residents or city assets in tsunami-prone areas. Methods presented here will help emergency managers to identify community sub-groups that are more susceptible to loss and to develop risk-reduction strategies that are tailored to local conditions.

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