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Quantitative Vulnerability Assessment for Economic Systems

Vulnerability and the Process of Recovery for Households and Companies in Phang-Nga and Phuket Provinces in Thailand

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Philipp Willroth

In 2004 tsunami waves caused huge economic losses along the coastline of Southern Thailand. These resulted from direct damages and the following economic downturn. This study investigates the factors that led to this vulnerable situation. One of the greatest challenges in vulnerability research is the quantification. To answer this question, a wide database has been used, encompassing highly accurate remote sensing data, quantitative surveys and qualitative focus group discussion data. These data have been integrated in a structural equation model to reproduce factors and relations leading to the hazard induced effects and the capabilities to cope with. The model showed that the impact was almost completely compensated for by households’ and companies’ internal and external resilience capabilities.

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Figure 1: TRAIT research framework ............................................ 3 Figure 2: The two sides of vulnerability ......................................... 8 Figure 3: Sustainable Livelihood Framework ............................... 10 Figure 4: Expected level of consumption ..................................... 13 Figure 5: Pressure and release model ........................................... 16 Figure 6: Evolution of vulnerability frameworks ......................... 17 Figure 7: Vulnerability framework and its components according to TURNER et al. ............................................ 18 Figure 8: BBC Model for vulnerability assessment ...................... 19 Figure 9: Time dimension of coping and adaptation .................... 23 Figure 10: Elements of an economic system .................................. 27 Figure 11: Conceptual framework .................................................. 30 Figure 12: Categories of damage potential ..................................... 31 Figure 13: Average damage level as a function of inundation height ............................................................................. 32 Figure 14: Proportion of deaths according to age of individuals .... 34 Figure 15: Proportion of deaths according to distance from coastline ......................................................................... 34 Figure 16: Economic interrelations causing indirect effects ........... 35 Figure 17: Company relations in the disaster area .......................... 48 Figure 18: Economic anatomy of an environmental shock ............. 53 Figure 19: Idealised recovery process of company sales after a disaster ........................................................................... 55 Figure 20: Exemplary path model .................................................. 74 Figure 21: Iterative estimation of the partial least square algorithm ....................................................................... 78 Figure 22: Reflective and formative constructs in the outer measurement model ....................................................... 80 xiv Figure 23: IKONOS Scenes from Khao Lak 2008 demonstrating the outcome of automatic building extraction ....................................................................... 87 Figure 24: Application of methods and data ................................... 91 Figure 25: House build by governmental agency in Khao Lak and House build by NGO in Ban Nam Khem ............. 111 Figure 26: Tsunami impact on housing and rebuilding ................ 112 Figure 27: Unemployment rate...

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