Vulnerability Analysis

Vulnerability, a key topic in risk analysis, is defined as the degree of loss to a given set of elements resulting from the occurrence of the hazard. Qualitative (proxy) and quantitative measures for the degree of susceptibility to damaging effects of natural hazards focus on vulnerability of crops, built structures, environment, economy, people, and institutions.

Population vulnerability can fairly easily be assed using the population density as proxy, but vulnerability of buildings, facilities or e.g. industry is more difficult to assess. Depending on the hazard and on the purpose, we perform vulnerability analysis to define, identify, and classify the vulnerability towards natural hazards using e.g. remote sensing, socioeconomic analysis, site inspections and interviews (Figure 1).

vulnerability

Figure 1: Example of terrain slope used to assess flood vulnerability of oil palms in Malaysia.