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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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7 Causal factors for vulnerability on the micro-level

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As derived from the theoretical discussion in Chapter 3 the effects of a natural hazard on an economic system are determined by the factors of exposure and sensitivity. As shown in Figure 11, exposure and sensitivity in economic sys- tems are formed by factors deriving from household and company characteris- tics and the economic setting on the regional level. The third influencing factor of resilience mostly influences the ability of the system to cope with and to re- cover from the impact (THYWISSEN et al. 2006). The factors likely to support the coping and recovery capabilities will be discussed in this chapter. These factors will be further investigated in the study areas of Khao Lak, Ban Nam Khem and Thai Muang in the Phang-Nga Province, as well as in Patong Beach in the Phu- ket Province (cp. Map 7). Map 7: Study areas in Phang-Nga Province (left) and Phuket Province (right) based on IKONOS multispectral data from January 2003 (Author’s own design) 124 7 Causal factors for vulnerability on the micro-level As derived from the theoretical discussion in Chapter 3 the effects of a natural hazard on an economic system are determined by the factors of exposure and sensitivity. As shown in Figure 11, exposure and sensitivity in economic sys- tems are formed by factors deriving from household and company characteris- tics and the economic setting on the regional level. The third influencing factor of resilience mostly influences the ability of the system to cope with and to re- cover...

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