2021 Vol. 12, No. 5

Display Method:
Distributed Simulation Platforms and Data Passing Tools for Natural Hazards Engineering: Reviews, Limitations, and Recommendations
Lichao Xu, Szu-Yun Lin, Andrew W. Hlynka, Hao Lu, Vineet R. Kamat, Carol C. Menassa, Sherif El-Tawil, Atul Prakash, Seymour M. J. Spence, Jason McCormick
2021, 12(5): 617-634. doi: 10.1007/s13753-021-00361-7
There has been a strong need for simulation environments that are capable of modeling deep interdependencies between complex systems encountered during natural hazards, such as the interactions and coupled effects between civil infrastructure systems response, human behavior, and social policies, for improved community resilience. Coupling such complex components with an integrated simulation requires continuous data exchange between different simulators simulating separate models during the entire simulation process. This can be implemented by means of distributed simulation platforms or data passing tools. In order to provide a systematic reference for simulation tool choice and facilitating the development of compatible distributed simulators for deep interdependent study in the context of natural hazards, this article focuses on generic tools suitable for integration of simulators from different fields but not the platforms that are mainly used in some specific fields. With this aim, the article provides a comprehensive review of the most commonly used generic distributed simulation platforms (Distributed Interactive Simulation (DIS), High Level Architecture (HLA), Test and Training Enabling Architecture (TENA), and Distributed Data Services (DDS)) and data passing tools (Robot Operation System (ROS) and Lightweight Communication and Marshalling (LCM)) and compares their advantages and disadvantages. Three specific limitations in existing platforms are identified from the perspective of natural hazard simulation. For mitigating the identified limitations, two platform design recommendations are provided, namely message exchange wrappers and hybrid communication, to help improve data passing capabilities in existing solutions and provide some guidance for the design of a new domain-specific distributed simulation framework.
Retracing Realistic Disaster Scenarios from Archival Sources: A Key Tool for Disaster Risk Reduction
Bashir Ahmad, Akhtar Alam, M. Sultan Bhat, Khurshid Ahmad Bhat, Jeelani Inaam ul Haq, Hakim Farooq Ahmad, Junaid Qadir
2021, 12(5): 635-648. doi: 10.1007/s13753-021-00363-5
Disaster scenarios are constructed by integrating natural hazard phenomena and social science sources of information. We profiled 51 natural hazard events of nineteenth century Kashmir that provide insights into the impacts of varying degree of severity that spread through the socioeconomic and political systems, influenced adaptation, and increased the consequences of the resulting disasters. The root cause of these disasters was embedded in the social, natural, and political economic systems of their time, where vulnerabilities overlapped and interacted periodically with successive colonial regimes and acted as tipping points. The combined effect of successive colonial regimes, inept administration, rigid political economy, and natural hazards made the situation go from bad to worse and reduced Kashmir to the depths of distress and subjugation. Over the arc of the nineteenth century, a series of disasters led the Kashmiri population to learn how to live with disasters and minimize risk, bringing about the evolution of social and environmental knowledge. Understanding the natural hazard vulnerability of the Kashmir Valley through archival narratives can help in scenario building to translate findings into formats that reduce related risk now as it did then. The resulting information can be useful for regional design, planning, and policy responses to promote disaster risk reduction.
Decision Making for Managing Community Flood Risks: Perspectives of United States Floodplain Managers
Jenna Tyler, Abdul-Akeem Sadiq, Douglas S. Noonan, Rebecca M. Entress
2021, 12(5): 649-660. doi: 10.1007/s13753-021-00367-1
To reduce flood losses, floodplain managers make decisions on how to effectively manage their community’s flood risks. While there is a growing body of research that examines how individuals and households make decisions to manage their flood risks, far less attention has been directed at understanding the decision-making processes for flood management at the community level. This study aimed to narrow this research gap by examining floodplain managers’ perceptions of the quality of their community’s flood management decision-making processes. Data gathered from interviews with 200 floodplain managers in the United States indicate that most floodplain managers perceive their community’s flood management decision-making processes to be good. The results also indicate that communities participating in the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Community Rating System, as well as communities with a higher level of concern for flooding and a lower poverty rate, are significantly more likely to report better flood management decision-making processes.
Barriers and Drivers for Mainstreaming Nature-Based Solutions for Flood Risks: The Case of South Korea
Sungju Han, Christian Kuhlicke
2021, 12(5): 661-672. doi: 10.1007/s13753-021-00372-4
Nature-based solutions (NBS) are seen as a promising adaptation measure that sustainably deals with diverse societal challenges, while simultaneously delivering multiple benefits. Nature-based solutions have been highlighted as a resilient and sustainable means of mitigating floods and other hazards globally. This study examined diverging conceptualizations of NBS, as well as the attitudinal (for example, emotions and beliefs) and contextual (for example, legal and political aspects) barriers and drivers of NBS for flood risks in South Korea. Semistructured interviews were conducted with 11 experts and focused on the topic of flood risk measures and NBS case studies. The analysis found 11 barriers and five drivers in the attitudinal domain, and 13 barriers and two drivers in the contextual domain. Most experts see direct monetary benefits as an important attitudinal factor for the public. Meanwhile, the cost-effectiveness of NBS and their capacity to cope with flood risks were deemed influential factors that could lead decision makers to opt for NBS. Among the contextual factors, insufficient systems to integrate NBS in practice and the ideologicalization of NBS policy were found to be peculiar barriers, which hinder consistent realization of initiatives and a long-term national plan for NBS. Understanding the barriers and drivers related to the mainstreaming of NBS is critical if we are to make the most of such solutions for society and nature. It is also essential that we have a shared definition, expectation, and vision of NBS.
Assessing Capacity and Implementation Status of the Disaster Risk Management Strategy for Health and Community Disaster Resilience in Malawi
Ozius Dewa, Donald Makoka, Olalekan A. Ayo-Yusuf
2021, 12(5): 673-688. doi: 10.1007/s13753-021-00369-z
Floods are among the most frequently occurring natural hazards in Malawi, often with public health implications. This mixed methods study assessed the capacity for and implementation status of the disaster risk management (DRM) strategy for the health sector in Malawi, using flooding in the Nsanje District as a case. Data were collected using desk review and a workshop methodology involving key officials from government ministries, national and international development partners, and the academia. The results show that Malawi had recently strengthened its DRM institutional frameworks, with a pronounced policy shift from reactive to proactive management of disasters. Health sector personnel and structures were key contributors in the design and implementation of DRM activities at all levels. Development partners played a significant role in strengthening DRM coordination and implementation capacity. Lack of funding and the limited availability, and often fragmented nature, of vulnerability and risk assessment data were identified as key challenges. Limited human resource capacity and inadequate planning processes at district level impeded full implementation of DRM policies. These findings call for community-level interventions for improved coordination, planning, and human resource capacity to strengthen community disaster resilience and improve public health. The approach used in this study can serve as a model framework for other districts in Malawi, as well as in other low- and middle-income countries in the context of Sendai Framework implementation.
When Disaster Risk Management Systems Fail: The Case of Cyclone Idai in Chimanimani District, Zimbabwe
Edson Munsaka, Chipo Mudavanhu, Lucy Sakala, Pepukai Manjeru, Diego Matsvange
2021, 12(5): 689-699. doi: 10.1007/s13753-021-00370-6
On 14 March 2019, Zimbabwe was hit by Cyclone Idai, leaving immeasurable destruction of unprecedented magnitude in its wake. In Chimanimani District, many lives were lost, many people were reported missing, and others were displaced. The question that immediately comes to mind is: Was the country prepared to manage the Cyclone Idai disaster? Reflecting on the community experiences, the purpose of this research was to interrogate the strength of the disaster risk reduction legislation and institutions in Zimbabwe in the face of meteorological hazards. The research also evaluated the extent of the impact Cyclone Idai had on the Chimanimani communities and the factors that increased the vulnerability to the cyclone. A mixed method approach that involved 1180 participants was used. The study found that disaster risk management legislation and institutions in Zimbabwe are weak. Cyclone Idai resulted in the loss of many human lives, loss of livelihoods, and massive damage to infrastructure. The cyclone exposed capacity and policy gaps in Zimbabwe’s disaster risk management system. The study makes a number of recommendations, including strengthening disaster legislation and policy, and disaster risk governance. Given the communities’ response to the disaster occurrence, the study also recommends strengthening social capital.
Building-Back-Better in Post-Disaster Recovery: Lessons Learnt from Cyclone Idai-Induced Floods in Zimbabwe
Ernest Dube, Gayan Wedawatta, Kanchana Ginige
2021, 12(5): 700-712. doi: 10.1007/s13753-021-00373-3
This study evaluated the build-back-better considerations in post-disaster recovery, following the devastation of Chipinge and Chimanimani communities by Cyclone Idai-induced floods in 2019. Conducted in 2020, the study assessed the impact of Cyclone Idai-induced floods on communities in Chipinge and Chimanimani Districts of Zimbabwe; evaluated the build-back-better considerations; and analyzed the lessons learned. Based on a qualitative approach and case study design, the study depended on focus group discussions, interviews, and researcher observations to gather data from 85 participants. The findings indicate that Cyclone Idai-induced floods seriously impacted human lives, infrastructure, and livelihoods of communities that had been living with flood risk and vulnerability. Build-back-better considerations were absent in much of the post-disaster recovery effort to address the cyclone disaster impact. There are important early lessons for both practitioners and community members to learn from the Cyclone Idai event. These lessons still can inform policy and disaster risk reduction practice in the medium and long term. Build-back-better should be a mandatory objective in the recovery from any disaster impact. Continuous training is also recommended to improve the disaster knowledge of stakeholders and increase local ability to cope with future disaster events.
Dynamic Assessment of Global Maize Exposure to Extremely High Temperatures
Yuan Gao, Peng Su, Anyu Zhang, Ran Wang, Jing’ai Wang
2021, 12(5): 713-730. doi: 10.1007/s13753-021-00360-8
Exposure to extreme heat can severely harm crop growth and development, and it is essential to assess such exposure accurately to minimize risks to crop production. However, the actual distribution of crops and its changes have neither been examined in sufficient detail nor integrated into the assessments of exposure to ensure their accuracy. By examining the distribution of maize at a high resolution through species distribution modeling, we assessed the past and future exposure of maize to temperatures above 37°C worldwide. Such exposure is likely to be widespread and severe, mainly in the subtropics, and may even expand to the mid-latitudes to encompass some major maize-producing areas. Many areas at both high and low latitudes may become exposed for the first time in the next 20 years. By the 2050s, the total area exposed could increase by up to 185% to 308.18 million ha, of which the area exposed for over 60 days may increase nearly sevenfold. The average length of exposure may increase by 69% to 27 days, and areas optimally suited to maize planting may see the fastest increase by up to 772%. Extreme heat can threaten global maize production severely, and measures to mitigate that threat and to adapt to it are urgently needed.
Using Climate Factors to Estimate Flood Economic Loss Risk
Xinjia Hu, Ming Wang, Kai Liu, Daoyi Gong, Holger Kantz
2021, 12(5): 731-744. doi: 10.1007/s13753-021-00371-5
Estimation of economic loss is essential for stakeholders to manage flood risk. Most flooding events are closely related to extreme precipitation, which is influenced by large-scale climate factors. Considering the lagged influence of climate factors, we developed a flood-risk assessment framework and used Hunan Province in China as an example to illustrate the risk assessment process. The main patterns of precipitation—as a connection between climate factors and flood economic losses—were extracted by the empirical orthogonal function (EOF) analysis. We identified the correlative climate factors through cross-correlation analysis and established a multiple stepwise linear regression model to forecast future precipitation patterns. Risk assessment was done based on the main precipitation patterns. Because the economic dataset is limited, a Monte Carlo simulation was applied to simulate 1000-year flood loss events under each precipitation regime (rainy, dry, normal years) to obtain aggregate exceedance probability (AEP) and occurrence exceedance probability (OEP) curves. We found that precipitation has a strong influence on economic loss risk, with the highest risk in rainy years. Regional economic development imbalances are the potential reason for the varying economic loss risks in different regions of Hunan Province. As the climate indices with at least several months prediction lead time are strong indicators in predicting precipitation, the framework we developed can estimate economic loss risk several months in advance.
Urban Stormwater Modeling with Local Inertial Approximation Form of Shallow Water Equations: A Comparative Study
Weiqi Wang, Wenjie Chen, Guoru Huang
2021, 12(5): 745-763. doi: 10.1007/s13753-021-00368-0
This study focused on the performance and limitations of the local inertial approximation form model (LIM) of the shallow water equations (SWEs) when applied in urban flood modeling. A numerical scheme of the LIM equations was created using finite volume method with a first-order spatiotemporal Roe Riemann solver. A simplified urban stormwater model (SUSM) considering surface and underground dual drainage system was constructed based on LIM and the US Environmental Protection Agency Storm Water Management Model. Moreover, a complete urban stormwater model (USM) based on the SWEs with the same solution algorithm was used as the evaluation benchmark. Numerical results of the SUSM and USM in a highly urbanized area under four rainfall return periods were analyzed and compared. The results reveal that the performance of the SUSM is highly consistent with that of the USM but with an improvement in computational efficiency of approximately 140%. In terms of the accuracy of the model, the SUSM slightly underestimates the water depth and velocity and is less accurate when dealing with supercritical flow in urban stormwater flood modeling. Overall, the SUSM can produce comparable results to USM with higher computational efficiency, which provides a simplified and alternative method for urban flood modeling.
Tourism Developments Increase Tsunami Disaster Risk in Pangandaran, West Java, Indonesia
Vincent Nijman
2021, 12(5): 764-769. doi: 10.1007/s13753-021-00365-3
On 17 July 2006, the tourist resort of Pangandaran on Java’s south coast was hit by a tsunami, resulting in 413 fatalities and severe damage to buildings. The tsunami resulted in major rebuilds with a focus on mass tourism. Assessments of the impact of a future tsunami focussed on building development and suggest limited change since 2006. This article presents a case study on the development of (largely domestic) tourism in Pangandaran and how this has increased the tsunami disaster risk. Tourist numbers were stable at about 900,000 visitors a year prior to the tsunami, down to slightly over 250,000 visitors a year in its aftermath, and from 2007 onwards numbers are doubling every three years to about 4 million visitors in 2019. The increase has been most pronounced during weekends. Prior to 2006, Pangandaran was characterized by wooden structures and one- and two-story buildings of clay-brick masonry; by 2019, 14 three to six-story hotels have been erected along the waterfront. With many more visitors, most of whom are unfamiliar with tsunami risks, and shelter facilities for less than a quarter of visitors during peak times, future impacts and the potential cost to life are considerably higher now than in 2006, especially if a tsunami were to hit over a weekend. All tourists upon arrival and throughout their stay should be better informed about the risks of tsunamis, and of the location of tsunami shelters and evacuation routes.
Risk-Layering for Indirect Effects
Stefan Hochrainer-Stigler, Karina Reiter
2021, 12(5): 770-778. doi: 10.1007/s13753-021-00366-2
Environmental risks are one of the greatest threats in the twenty-first century. Especially in the last years, the cascading impacts and risks associated with such events have received great attention as economic losses and consequences have mounted in their wake. As concerns about these ripple effects are rising, strategies to prevent and manage indirect risks are in urgent demand. However, such effects are currently barely considered in most countries and can seriously threaten global agendas such as achieving the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 or the targets set out in the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015−2030. We discuss how the concept of risk-layering, which, though already applied in disaster risk management, could be expanded to include indirect effects. We point out some of the benefits, limitations, and ways forward for using this approach. To do so, we first delineate the transition of the risk-layering concept, which originated from the insurance industry, from its original use to its application in a wider context. We bring special focus to the application of risk-layering in disaster risk management and identify strategies that allow for the inclusion of indirect risks. Our main suggestion is that, while a probabilistic approach is appropriate for evaluating direct risks, a focus on connectedness is appropriate for indirect risks, which still allows for an easy link to direct risk-layering. This, so we argue, facilitates more comprehensive risk management systems apt to deal with the multi-dimensional challenges ahead.