International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction
Octavio Rojas, Constanza Hoffman, Pablon López
Tsunamis are among the most significant hazards in coastal settlements. Mitigation measures have been focused mainly on physical aspects, and few studies have addressed vulnerability and resilience in a multidimensional approach. The main objective of the present work is to assess changes in vulnerability and, consequently, risk, considering a time-space dimension. Three deterministic tsunami scenarios based on historical events were analyzed, and vulnerability analysis with an emphasis on social cohesion and community organization in pre-reconstruction (2012) and post-reconstruction (2017) conditions was carried out using physical, socioeconomic and social organization variables. The extreme scenario was found to be a 2010-like tsunami, and high levels of social trust and community cooperation were found in pre-reconstruction conditions, which decreased in post-reconstruction conditions due to the relocation of the affected population to other parts of the region. Therefore, it can be concluded that even though physical aspects are important for improving the livability of an affected place and the quality of life of its inhabitants, intentionally biased reconstruction processes (focused mainly on physical aspects) do not effectively reduce risk. Finally, it is crucial to include social capital and social resilience in public policies to implement more comprehensive and successful reconstruction processes.