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University contributions to risk reduction following a disaster; a case study of reorienting natural hazards research efforts at San Vicente Volcano, El Salvador

Luke J. Bowman, John S. Gierke and J. Fredy Cruz Centeno
University contributions to risk reduction following a disaster; a case study of reorienting natural hazards research efforts at San Vicente Volcano, El Salvador (in Geoscience for the public good and global development; toward a sustainable future, Gregory R. Wessel (editor) and Jeffrey K. Greenberg (editor))
Special Paper - Geological Society of America (2016) 520: 335-346

Abstract

Disaster risk reduction efforts are lacking in many hazard-prone areas around the globe. Governmental initiatives in El Salvador sought to address challenges to disaster management that became evident following a series of disasters spanning 1998-2005. The region surrounding San Vicente volcano, El Salvador, has a history of disasters but, until recently, has received little attention toward hazard mitigation. The debrisflow disaster in November 2009, triggered by rains from Hurricane Ida, was the first time new systems were tested, and an in-depth review of the evolution of these systems is the focus of this paper. Faculty at the Universidad de El Salvador-Facultad Multi-disciplinaria Paracentral (UES-FMP), in San Vicente experienced the tragedy first-hand and perceived that chaotic project implementation, redundant objectives among various groups, and poor coordination hindered the effectiveness of postevent disaster risk reduction efforts. Poor potential-hazard awareness, no warning or monitoring systems, and unclear crisis-response responsibilities all contributed to >200 deaths in the region. UES-FMP agricultural sciences faculty led a comprehensive effort to identify weaknesses and improve plans for the next catastrophe. Their approach encompassed conceiving and implementing new research, field, and training activities for improving hazard understanding and communication in order to inform decision makers and the public. UES-FMP partnered with research and development groups to gather hydrometeorological data, model hazards, and train local stakeholders. UES-FMP encourages disaster risk reduction practitioners to focus on interdisciplinary methods to help guide project design. Experiences from San Vicente can be applied to improve disaster risk reduction and hazard research efforts in other areas.


ISSN: 0072-1077
EISSN: 2331-219X
Coden: GSAPAZ
Serial Title: Special Paper - Geological Society of America
Serial Volume: 520
Title: University contributions to risk reduction following a disaster; a case study of reorienting natural hazards research efforts at San Vicente Volcano, El Salvador
Title: Geoscience for the public good and global development; toward a sustainable future
Author(s): Bowman, Luke J.Gierke, John S.Centeno, J. Fredy Cruz
Author(s): Wessel, Gregory R.editor
Author(s): Greenberg, Jeffrey K.editor
Affiliation: Michigan Technological University, Department of Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences, Houghton, MI, United States
Affiliation: Geology in the Public Interest, Vashon, WA, United States
Pages: 335-346
Published: 2016
Text Language: English
Publisher: Geological Society of America (GSA), Boulder, CO, United States
References: 29
Accession Number: 2016-090184
Categories: Environmental geology
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. 1 table, sketch maps
N13°34'60" - N13°45'00", W88°54'00" - W88°43'00"
Secondary Affiliation: Universidad de El Salvador, SLV, El Salvador
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data supplied by the Geological Society of America, Boulder, CO, United States
Update Code: 201644
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