Social Vulnerability Assessment through GIS Techniques: A Case Study of Flood Risk Mapping in Mexico

  • P. Krishna Krishnamurthy
  • L. Krishnamurthy


The most significant impact of natural disasters is at the local level, where human settlements are destroyed and livelihoods are put at risk, economic losses are ensued, and there may be injuries or loss of life in the affected areas (Smith, 2004; Tran et al., 2009). Disaster potential can be conceptualised as the simultaneous occurrence of hazard (the geophysical environmental risk) and vulnerability (the social risk) (cf. Alexander, 1998). Within the context of climate change, in particular, hydrometeorological hazards are becoming more complex and the potential for greater adverse impacts increases (Pielke, 2005; IPCC WGI, 2007). One-in-one-hundred-years flooding events such as that of 2007 in the Gulf of Mexico are expected to become more frequent (SEMARNAT and INE, 2010). The number of recorded floods in Mexico has increased four-fold in the past fifty years and the associated economic losses have increased exponentially in the same period (EM-DAT, 2011). The policy challenge is complicated as coastal societies continue to settle in hazard-prone areas with as many as 600 million globally (and 50 million in the Gulf of Mexico) living in floodplains by 2100 (Nicholls and Mimura, 1998), and a replicable methodology for the analysis of social vulnerability is needed.


Geographic Information System Flood Risk Disaster Risk Vulnerability Index Social Vulnerability 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Capital Publishing Company 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. Krishna Krishnamurthy
    • 1
  • L. Krishnamurthy
    • 1
  1. 1.Agroforestry Centre for Sustainable DevelopmentUniversity of ChapingoChapingoMexico

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