04 Jul 2022
04 Jul 2022
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal NHESS.

Quantifying unequal urban resilience to rains across China from location-aware big data

Jiale Qian1,2, Yunyan Du1,2, Jiawei Yi1,2, Fuyuan Liang1, Nan Wang1,2, Ting Ma1,2, and Tao Pei1,2 Jiale Qian et al.
  • 1State Key Laboratory of Resources and Environmental Information System, Institute of Geographical Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
  • 2University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China

Abstract. The disaster-relevant authorities could make an uninformed decision due to the lack of a clear picture of the urban resilience to adverse natural events. Previous studies seldom examine the near-real-time human dynamics, which are critical to disaster emergency response and mitigation, in response to the development and evolution of a natural hazard. In this study, we used the aggregated Tencent location request data (TLR) to examine the variations in collective human activities in response to rains in 346 cities in China. Then we report a comprehensive study of the urban resilience to rains across the mainland China. Our results show that, on average, a 1-mm increase in rainfall intensity is associated with a 0.49 % increase of the human activity anomalies. In the cities of northwestern and southeastern China, human activity anomalies are affected more by rainfall intensity and rainfall duration, respectively. Our results highlight the unequal urban resilience to rains across China, showing current heavy rain warning standards underestimate the impacts of heavy rains on the residents in the northwest arid region and the central underdeveloped areas, and overestimate the impacts on the residents in the southeastern coastal area. An overhaul of current heavy rain alert standards therefore is needed to better serve the residents in our study area.

Jiale Qian et al.

Status: open (until 07 Sep 2022)

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Jiale Qian et al.


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Short summary
Human activities across China show a similar trend in response to rains. However, urban resilience varies significantly by region. The northwest arid region and the central underdeveloped areas are very fragile and even a low-intensity rain could trigger significant human activity anomalies. By contrast, even high-intensity rains would not affect the residents in the southeast.