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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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8 Interrelations within the vulnerability models

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8.1 Households The theory-based model developed in chapter 3 and the first descriptive analyses in chapter 6 and 7 lead to a combined vulnerability model linking the elements exposure, sensitivity and resilience (cp. Figure 30). This model should allow an evaluation of the processes and interdependencies determining the vulnerable situation of the households and their capabilities to cope with the shock. , Figure 30: Framework for household vulnerability assessment (Author’s design) Household assets Exposure SensitivityResilience Tsunami impact Household income Location Infrastructure Source of income Level of income Ext. Help from Government Savings, social networks Education Ext. Help from NGO Direct Indirect Internal External Direct Indirect Recovery capabilities and time Household members Income diversification 180 From the discussion in chapter two and three, the following hypotheses can be derived to test the relations between the single elements: H1 The level of direct damage caused by a tsunami increases vulnerability H2 The level of indirect effects caused by a tsunami increases vulnerability H3 Internal resilience capacities reduce vulnerability H4 External resilience capacities reduce vulnerability From the 323 households interviewed in the four study communities, only the households in the province of Phang-Nga could be integrated into the further modelling due to restrictions in the chosen model. Since the majority of house- holds in Patong Beach are located further inland or live in multi-story buildings above their companies, only marginal damage to the household property could be assessed. In Patong Beach, mostly vehicles belonging to the households were damaged, but these types of assets...

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