What do people think about the flood risk? An experience with the residents of Talcahuano city, Chile

Alejandro Lara, Xavier Garcia, F.E. Bucci Ancapi, Anna Ribas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


In the province of Concepción (Chile), floods are considered one of the main natural hazards. One of the most important cities of this area is Talcahuano. During the last years, Talcahuano has been affected by a number of flood episodes, as a consequence of an increase in the frequency of extraordinary atmospheric events, along with a higher exposure to the flood risk caused by an intense urban development. On 27 February 2010, an 8.8° earthquake (Richter scale) occurred in central southern Chile and originated the tsunami which flooded a large percentage of the residential area and military base of the Talcahuano city. This flood event affected a population higher than 180,000 people (including 23 casualties and invaluable economic and environmental losses). The objective of this study is to investigate the social perception and knowledge of Talcahuano residents affected by different types of flood, including tsunami, emphasizing which are their risks, vulnerability, resilience and coping capacity concepts. In addition, the kind of measures that have been proposed to improve their capacity to face floods after having suffered the natural disaster will be determined. This social assessment has been carried out based on a survey to permanent residents. Research results reveal that their endogenous and exogenous characteristics have resulted determinant to explain their perception.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1557-1575
JournalNatural Hazards
Publication statusPublished - 18 Nov 2016
Externally publishedYes

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