2019 Vol. 10, No. 1

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Revisiting Emergency Food Reserve Policy and Practice under Disaster and Extreme Climate Events
Jonatan A. Lassa, Paul Teng, Mely Caballero-Anthony, Maxim Shrestha
2019, 10(1): 1-13. doi: 10.1007/s13753-018-0200-y
All food systems will continue to be affected by disasters and extreme climate events. Triggered by recent food crises around the world and climate change concerns, some governments have been trying to develop more robust and resilient food systems. One of the oldest options for many governments is to stockpile emergency food reserves for the purpose of food security and disaster preparedness. In the aftermath of the world food price crises in 2007-2008 and 2011, some governments in Asia have been maintaining emergency food reserves to ensure greater supply and price stability. Disasters and extreme climate events help governments to justify emergency food reserves. This research examined emergency food reserve policies in Indonesia, the Philippines, and Malaysia. Emergency food reserves emerged as a practice where the shared objectives of development, disaster risk reduction, and climate change adaptation have been demonstrated by governments. The findings suggest that most governments maintain the strong view that adequate emergency food reserves can buffer national food price shocks and shocks from disasters and climate change, and soften disruptions in trade due to export bans during times of disasters and climate emergencies.
Disaster Risk Reduction Including Climate Change Adaptation Over South Asia: Challenges and Ways Forward
Rajesh K. Mall, Ravindra K. Srivastava, Tirthankar Banerjee, Om Prakash Mishra, Diva Bhatt, Geetika Sonkar
2019, 10(1): 14-27. doi: 10.1007/s13753-018-0210-9
South Asia is vulnerable to a variety of hydrometeorological hazards, which are often crossboundary in nature. Climate change is expected to influence many of these hazards. Thus, climate-related risks over South Asia make disaster risk reduction (DRR) and climate change adaptation (CCA) key policy goals. Recently there is an increasing consensus that DRR including CCA should be embedded in development planning. Disaster risk reduction including CCA has progressively gained importance in global governance. Across South Asia, however, such integration is only in a preliminary stage. This review was to assess the existing status and scope of DRR including CCA in development projects across South Asia, so that an effective and achievable deliberation may be made to regional policymakers. A total of 371 projects relevant to CCA and DRR were reviewed. The project inventory was diverse in nature with respect to location, scale, sectoral focus, and strategic importance. Bangladesh, India, and Bhutan were observed to be proactive in implementing DRR- and CCA-related projects. Meta-analysis of the project inventory suggests an urgent need for an individual and collaborative convergence of processes for DRR and CCA through policies, plans, strategies, and programs.
Climate Change, Water Scarcity, and Health Adaptation in Southwestern Coastal Bangladesh
Md. Anwarul Abedin, Andrew E. Collins, Umma Habiba, Rajib Shaw
2019, 10(1): 28-42. doi: 10.1007/s13753-018-0211-8
Climate change may affect human health through multiple and interactive pathways that include safe water scarcity. However, impacts of climate change-induced water scarcity on health and well-being are complex. About 80% of illnesses in developing countries are attributed to unsafe drinking water and waterborne diseases. In Southwestern Bangladesh, lack of safe drinking water is a severe crisis due to climate change. The study investigated the impacts of climate change on water resources and human health in a coastal area. A questionnaire survey was carried out in two villages of Shymnagar upazila on the southwestern coast to investigate the present status of safe water sources and health care facilities and their impacts on the local community. The results show that the local community believes that climate change is having substantial impacts on freshwater sources and health. More than 70% of the respondents identified diarrhea, dysentery, and skin diseases as the prime waterborne health risks that occur through climate-related safe water scarcity. By synthesizing the ground data, we suggest pathways to health adaptation to climate change effects and safe water scarcity through locally available adaptive practices such as the use of pond sand filters, rainwater harvesting, and importing potable water with the active participation of the government, nongovernmental organizations, and communities.
Rapid Urban Land Expansion in Earthquake-Prone Areas of China
Qingxu Huang, Shiting Meng, Chunyang He, Yinyin Dou, Qiang Zhang
2019, 10(1): 43-56. doi: 10.1007/s13753-018-0207-4
A timely understanding of urban expansion in earthquake-prone areas is crucial for earthquake risk assessment and urban planning for earthquake mitigation. However, a comprehensive evaluation of urban expansion in earthquake-prone areas is lacking in China, especially in the context of rapid urbanization. Based on time series urban land data and seismic ground-motion parameter zonation maps, this study analyzed urban expansion in the most seismically hazardous areas (MSHAs) of China from 1992 to 2015 on the national, regional, and city scales. The results show that urban land area in the MSHAs expanded by 6767 km2 from 1992 to 2015, with a gain of 350%. Specifically, the increase in urban land area of small cities in the MSHAs of western China during this period was the fastest, 6.24 times greater than that at the national level. In terms of spatial patterns, the urban land patches in the MSHAs in 2015 were more fragmented than those in 1992 on all scales. The percentage of change in the number of patches and the landscape shape index of the urban land patches of small cities in the MSHAs of western China were the highest across all cities. Therefore, we believe that special attention should be paid to the cities in the MSHAs that exhibit the most rapid increases in both urban land area and fragmentation, especially the small cities in western China. It is imperative to integrate earthquake mitigation into the urban planning of these cities.
Modeling Spatial-Temporal Dynamics of Urban Residential Fire Risk Using a Markov Chain Technique
Rifan Ardianto, Prem Chhetri
2019, 10(1): 57-73. doi: 10.1007/s13753-018-0209-2
This article applies a Markov chain method to compute the probability of residential fire occurrence based on past fire history. Fitted with the fire incidence data gathered over a period of 10 years in Melbourne, Australia, the spatially-integrated fire risk model predicts the likely occurrence of fire incidents using space and time as key model parameters. The mapped probabilities of fire occurrence across Melbourne show a city-centric spatial pattern where inner-city areas are relatively more vulnerable to a fire than outer suburbia. Fire risk reduces in a neighborhood when there is at least one fire in the last 1 month. The results show that the time threshold of reduced fire risk after the fire occurrence is about 2 months. Fire risk increases when there is no fire in the last 1 month within the third-order neighborhood (within 5 km). A fire that occurs within this distance range, however, has no significant effect on reducing fire risk level within the neighborhood. The spatial-temporal dependencies of fire risk provide new empirical evidence useful for fire agencies to effectively plan and implement geo-targeted fire risk interventions and education programs to mitigate potential fire risk in areas where and when they are most needed.
An Emergency Blood Allocation Approach Considering Blood Group Compatibility in Disaster Relief Operations
Zu-Jun Ma, Ke-Ming Wang, Ying Dai
2019, 10(1): 74-88. doi: 10.1007/s13753-018-0212-7
Large-scale sudden-onset disasters may cause massive injuries and thus place great pressure on the emergency blood supplies of local blood banks. When blood is in short supply, blood products gathered urgently to a local blood center should be appropriately allocated to blood banks in the affected area. Moreover, ABO/ Rh(D) compatibilities among blood groups must be considered during emergency situations. To minimize the total unmet demand of blood products considering the optimal ABO/Rh(D)-compatible blood substitution scheme, a mixed integer programming model is developed and solved efficiently by using a greedy heuristic algorithm. Finally, a numerical example derived from the emergency blood supply scenario of the Wenchuan Earthquake is presented to verify the proposed model and algorithm. The results show that considering ABO/Rh(D)-compatible blood substitution can remarkably increase the efficiency of emergency blood allocation while lowering blood shortage, and the preference order of possible ABO/Rh(D)-compatible substitutions has an influence on the allocation solution.
Different Flooding Behaviors Due to Varied Urbanization Levels within River Basin: A Case Study from the Xiang River Basin, China
Juan Du, Linlin Cheng, Qiang Zhang, Yumeng Yang, Wei Xu
2019, 10(1): 89-102. doi: 10.1007/s13753-018-0195-4
Booming urbanization due to a fast-growing population results in more impervious areas, less infiltration, and hence greater flood peak and runoff. Clear understanding of flood responses in regions with different levels and expansions of urbanization is of great importance for regional urban planning. In this study, comparison of flooding responses to urbanization processes in terms of flood peak and runoff volume in the upper, middle, and lower Xiang River Basin (XRB), China, was carried out using the Hydrologic Engineering Center-Hydrologic Modeling System (HEC-HMS) model. From 2005 to 2015, urbanization level and intensity were higher in the lower XRB compared to the upper and middle XRB, and the overall expansion rate of urban areas was 112.8%. Modeling results by the HEC-HMS model indicate elevated flood peak discharges and volumes due to fast urbanization in the XRB from the 1980s to 2015. This rapid increase is particularly the case in the lower XRB. The study also revealed different hydrological responses of flood regimes—urbanization tends to have larger impacts on peak flood flow rather than on flood volume in the lower XRB, which further corroborated urbanization-induced intensifying flood processes in terms of peak flood flow. Urbanization has increasing impacts on flood volume from the upper to the lower XRB, which can be attributed to accumulated runoff down the river system. This study provides a reference for basin-wide land use and urban planning as well as flood hazard mitigation.
An Analysis of Social Vulnerability to Natural Hazards in Nepal Using a Modified Social Vulnerability Index
Sanam K. Aksha, Luke Juran, Lynn M. Resler, Yang Zhang
2019, 10(1): 103-116. doi: 10.1007/s13753-018-0192-7
Social vulnerability influences the ability to prepare for, respond to, and recover from disasters. The identification of vulnerable populations and factors that contribute to their vulnerability are crucial for effective disaster risk reduction. Nepal exhibits multihazard risk and has experienced socioeconomic and political upheaval in recent decades, further increasing susceptibility to hazards. However, we still know little regarding social vulnerability in Nepal. Here, we investigate social vulnerability in Nepal by adapting Social Vulnerability Index (SoVI) methods to the Nepali context. Variables such as caste, and populations who cannot speak/understand Nepali were added to reflect the essence of the Nepali context. Using principal component analysis, 39 variables were reduced to seven factors that explained 63.02% of variance in the data. Factor scores were summarized to calculate final SoVI scores. The highest levels of social vulnerability are concentrated in the central and western Mountain, western Hill, and central and eastern Tarai regions of Nepal, while the least vulnerable areas are in the central and eastern Hill regions. These findings, supplemented with smaller-scale analyses, have the potential to assist village officers, policymakers, and emergency managers in the development of more effective and geographically targeted disaster management programs.
Site-Specific Zonation of Seismic Site Effects by Optimization of the Expert GIS-Based Geotechnical Information System for Western Coastal Urban Areas in South Korea
Han-Saem Kim, Chang-Guk Sun, Hyung-Ik Cho
2019, 10(1): 117-133. doi: 10.1007/s13753-018-0208-3
Earthquake-induced disasters are often more severe over soft soils than over firm soils or rocks owing to the seismic site effects related to the amplification of ground motion. On a regional scale, such differences can be estimated by spatially predicting the subsurface soil thickness over the entire target area. Generally, soil deposits are deeper in coastal or riverside areas than in inland regions. In this study, the seismic site effects in the coastal metropolitan areas of Incheon and Bucheon, South Korea, were assessed to provide information on seismic hazards. Spatial prediction of geotechnical layers was performed for the entire study area within an advanced GIS framework. Approximately 7500 existing borehole records in the Incheon and Bucheon areas were gathered and archived into a GIS database. Surface geotechnical data were acquired from a walk-over survey. Based on the optimized geo-data, spatial zoning maps of site-specific seismic response parameters, based on multiscale geospatial modeling, were created and presented for use in a regional seismic mitigation strategy. Seismic zonation was also performed to determine site coefficients for seismic design over the entire target area and to compare them with each other. We verified that the geotechnical data based spatial zonation would be useful for seismic hazard mitigation.
Power Restoration Prediction Following Extreme Events and Disasters
Romney B. Duffey
2019, 10(1): 134-148. doi: 10.1007/s13753-018-0189-2
This article examines electric power restoration following catastrophic damage in modern cities and regions due to extreme events and disasters. Recovery time and non-restoration probability are derived using new data from a comprehensive range of recent massive hurricanes, extensive wildfires, severe snowstorms, and damaging cyclones. Despite their totally disparate origins, over three orders of magnitude severe wildfires and hurricanes have the same non-restoration probability trends, which are of simple exponential form. The results fall into categories that are dependent on and grouped by the degree of damage and social disruption. The implications are discussed for emergency response planning. These new results demonstrate that the scientific laws of probability and human learning, which dominate risk in modern technologies and societies are also applicable to a wide range of disasters and extreme events.