Natural Hazards

, Volume 71, Issue 3, pp 2113–2125 | Cite as

Social vulnerability to floods: a case study of Huaihe River Basin

  • Yong-Ling Zhang
  • Wen-Jiao You
Original Paper


Since ancient times, floods occurred frequently in Huaihe River with significant casualties and economic losses. In developing measures for disaster prevention or emergency response for disaster relief, the study of social vulnerability to floods in Huaihe River Basin should be strengthened. Based on the latest socioeconomic data, the index system of social vulnerability to floods was constructed from three dimensions: population, economy, and flood prevention. Sensitive indexes were identified from the original indexes by principal component analysis, and the social vulnerability index for floods was calculated for Huaihe River Basin. The results described the characteristics of the spatial distribution. It also demonstrated that vulnerability manifests itself as a regional phenomenon, with significant changes from city to city across the Huaihe River Basin. Understanding the impacts of changes in vulnerability was crucial in developing measures to prevent floods.


Huaihe River Floods Social vulnerability 



This study is financially supported by the MOE (Ministry of Education in China) Project of Humanities and Social Sciences (Project No. 10YJAZH091). We also would like to thank Xiaolin Yang for their assistance in the data analysis.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Safety and Emergency Management Research CenterHenan Polytechnic UniversityJiaozuoChina
  2. 2.Emergency Management SchoolHenan Polytechnic UniversityJiaozuoChina

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