Construction of an integrated social vulnerability index in urban areas prone to flash flooding
- 1Department of Mining and Geological Engineering, University of Castilla-La Mancha, Avd. Carlos III, Toledo 45071, Spain
- 2Department of Business Administration, University of Castilla-La Mancha, Avd. Real Fabrica de Sedas, Talavera de la Reina 45600, Spain
- 3Geological Hazards Division, Geological Survey of Spain, 23 Calle Rios Rosas, Madrid 28003, Spain
Abstract. Among the natural hazards, flash flooding is the leading cause of weather-related deaths. Flood risk management (FRM) in this context requires a comprehensive assessment of the social risk component. In this regard, integrated social vulnerability (ISV) can incorporate spatial distribution and contribution and the combined effect of exposure, sensitivity and resilience to total vulnerability, although these components are often disregarded. ISV is defined by the demographic and socio-economic characteristics that condition a population's capacity to cope with, resist and recover from risk and can be expressed as the integrated social vulnerability index (ISVI). This study describes a methodological approach towards constructing the ISVI in urban areas prone to flash flooding in Castilla y León (Castile and León, northern central Spain, 94 223 km2, 2 478 376 inhabitants). A hierarchical segmentation analysis (HSA) was performed prior to the principal components analysis (PCA), which helped to overcome the sample size limitation inherent in PCA. ISVI was obtained from weighting vulnerability factors based on the tolerance statistic. In addition, latent class cluster analysis (LCCA) was carried out to identify spatial patterns of vulnerability within the study area. Our results show that the ISVI has high spatial variability. Moreover, the source of vulnerability in each urban area cluster can be identified from LCCA. These findings make it possible to design tailor-made strategies for FRM, thereby increasing the efficiency of plans and policies and helping to reduce the cost of mitigation measures.