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A Nordic Perspective on Data Availability for Quantification of Losses due to Natural Hazards
Karlstad University, Faculty of Health, Science and Technology (starting 2013), Department of Environmental and Life Sciences. (Centrum för klimat och säkerhet, Center for climate and safety)
2016 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Natural hazards cause enormous amounts of damage worldwide every year. Since 1994 more than 1.35 billion people have lost their lives and more than 116 million homes have been damaged. Understanding of disaster risk implies knowledge about vulnerability, capacity, exposure of persons and assets, hazard characteristics and the environment. Quantitative damage assessments are a fundamental part of disaster risk management. There are, however, substantial challenges when quantifying damage which depends on the diversity of hazards and the fact that one hazardous event can negatively impact a society in multiple ways. The overall aim of the thesis is to analyze the relationship between climate-related natural hazards and subsequent damage for the purpose of improving the prerequisite for quantitative risk assessments in the future. The thesis concentrates on two specific types of consequences due to two types of hazards, 1) damage to buildings caused by lake floods, and 2) loss of lives caused by quick clay landslides.  Several causal relationships were established between risk factors and the extent of damages. Lake water levels increased the probability of structural building damage. Private damage reducing measures decreased the probability of structural building damage. Extent of damage decreased with distance to waterfront but increased with longer flood duration while prewar houses suffered lower flood damage compared to others. Concerning landslides, the number of fatalities increased when the number of humans in the exposed population increased. The main challenges to further damage estimation are data scarcity, insufficient detail level and the fact that the data are rarely systematically collected for scientific purposes. More efforts are needed to create structured, homogeneous and detailed damage databases with corresponding risk factors in order to further develop quantitative damage assessment of natural hazards in a Nordic perspective.

Abstract [sv]

Naturolyckor orsakar enorma mängder skador över hela världen varje år. Under åren 1994-2013 förlorade mer än 1,35 miljoner människor sina liv och mer än 116 miljoner hem skadades. Förståelse av risk för naturolyckor innebär kunskap om sårbarhet, kapacitet, exponering av personer och tillgångar, hot och miljö.

Kvantitativa skadebedömningar, som är en viktig del av riskbedömningar, omfattas av stora utmaningar som grundar sig i hotens mångfaldighet och det faktum att en naturolycka kan påverka ett samhälle negativt på många olika sätt. Det övergripande syftet med avhandlingen är att analysera förhållandet mellan naturkatastrofer och potentiellt påföljande skador i syfte att förbättra förutsättningarna för kvantitativa riskbedömningar i framtiden. Avhandlingen koncentrerar sig på två typer av naturolyckor med specifika konsekvenser, 1) skador på byggnader till följd av sjö-översvämningar, och 2) förlust av liv orsakat av lerskred. Flera orsakssamband mellan riskfaktorer och omfattning av skador har identifierats. Sjöarnas vattennivåer ökade sannolikheten att drabbas av strukturell byggnadsskada, samtidigt som privat initierade åtgärder minskande sannolikheten.. När avstånd mellan sjö och byggnad ökade minskade omfattningen av översvämningsskador, men ökade ju längre sjööversvämningen varade. Hus byggda före 1940 fick mindre skador jämfört med andra hus. Andelen dödsfall i samband med skred i kvicklera ökade när antal människor i den exponerade befolkningen ökade. Den största utmaningen i att förbättra dagens kvantitativa skadebedömningar är den rådande databristen vad gäller förluster och tillhörande riskfaktorer. Denna brist beror på otillgänglig skadedata, bristande detaljnivå på skadedata och tillhörande risk faktorer, och att uppgifterna sällan samlas systematiskt i syfte att studera kausalitet.

Abstract [en]

The overall aim of the thesis is to analyze the relationship between climate-related natural hazards and subsequent damage for the purpose of improving the prerequisite for quantitative risk assessments in the future. The thesis concentrates on two specific types of hazards with specific types of consequences, 1) damage to buildings caused by lake floods, and 2) loss of lives caused by quick clay landslides.  Several causal relationships were established between risk factors and the extent of damages. Lake water levels increased the probability of structural building damage. Private damage reducing measures decreased the probability of structural building damage. Extent of damage decreased with distance to waterfront but increased with longer flood duration while prewar houses suffered lower flood damage compared to others. Concerning landslides, the number of fatalities increased when the number of humans in the exposed population increased. The main challenges to further damage estimation are data scarcity, insufficient detail level and the fact that the data are rarely systematically collected for scientific purposes.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Karlstad: Karlstads universitet, 2016. , 41 p.
Series
Karlstad University Studies, ISSN 1403-8099 ; 2016:21
Keyword [en]
Natural hazard, damage quantification, flood damage, landslide, loss of life
National Category
Other Social Sciences not elsewhere specified
Research subject
Risk and Environmental Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-41138ISBN: 978-91-7063-699-8 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-41138DiVA: diva2:914593
Presentation
2016-05-13, Fryxellsalen, 1B 306, Karlstad Universitet, Karlstad, 10:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2016-04-28 Created: 2016-03-24 Last updated: 2016-04-28Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Damage assessment of lake floods: Insured damage to private property during two lake floods in Sweden 2000/2001
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Damage assessment of lake floods: Insured damage to private property during two lake floods in Sweden 2000/2001
2014 (English)In: International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, E-ISSN 2212-4209, Vol. 10, 305-314 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This study analyses empirical data on the direct damage impact of lake floods using insurance claims for 195 private buildings. A relationship between lake water levels and insurance payments is established, but the estimated economic effects are small. Building damage also occurs in fringe areas that are not reached by surface water, which indicates a complex interplay between several factors influencing the degree of damage. Large lake floods occur over an extended time span (months). Their duration, as well as possible wind effects, should be taken into account in flood risk assessment. The slow onset of lake floods facilitates implementation of private damage-reducing measures in addition to public mitigation efforts. Private damage-reducing measures decrease the risk of structural damage to buildings, easing recovery for homeowners and society as a whole. Insurance companies can gain from investing in public flood awareness programmes and by providing information to their insurance holders on how to reduce property vulnerability in emergency situations.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2014
Keyword
Lake flood; Flood damage; Insured losses; Damage reduction; Flood assessment; Damage assessment
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Research subject
Risk and Environmental Studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-41134 (URN)10.1016/j.ijdrr.2014.10.003 (DOI)000357733900023 ()
Funder
Länsförsäkringar AB
Available from: 2016-03-24 Created: 2016-03-24 Last updated: 2017-11-30Bibliographically approved
2. Assessment of data availability for the development of landslide fatality curves
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Assessment of data availability for the development of landslide fatality curves
2017 (English)In: Landslides: Journal of the International Consortium on Landslides, ISSN 1612-510X, E-ISSN 1612-5118, Vol. 14, no 3, 1113-1126 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Quick clay landslides are a special feature of Norwegian and Swedish geologies. Vibrations or small initial landslides can cause a quick clay layer to collapse and liquefy, resulting in rapid landslides with little or no time for evacuation, making them a real threat to human life. Research concentrating on damages due to landslides is scarce, and analyses of loss of human lives caused by quick clay landslides in the scientific literature are, to our knowledge, non-existing. Fatality quantification can complement landslide risk assessments and serves as guidance for policy choices when evaluating efficient risk-reducing measures. The objectives of this study were to assess and analyze available damage information in an existing data set of 66 historical landslide events that occurred in Norway and Sweden between 1848 and 2009, and access its applicability for quantifying loss of human life caused by quick clay landslides. Fatality curves were estimated as functions of the number of exposed persons per landslide. Monte Carlo simulations were used to account for the uncertainties in the number of people actually exposed. The results of the study imply that the quick clay fatality curves are non-linear, indicating that the probability of losing lives increases exponentially when the number of exposed persons increases. Potential factors affecting human susceptibility to landslides (e.g., landslide-, area-, or individual-specific characteristics) could not be satisfyingly quantified based on available historical records. Future research should concentrate on quantifying susceptibility factors that can further explain human vulnerability to quick clay landslides.

Keyword
Landslide, Quick clay, Loss of life, Landslide fatalities, Data availability
National Category
Other Social Sciences not elsewhere specified Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Risk and Environmental Studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-41135 (URN)10.1007/s10346-016-0775-6 (DOI)000401697900023 ()
Funder
Länsförsäkringar AB
Available from: 2016-03-24 Created: 2016-03-24 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved

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