The economic and social effects of small disasters: revision of the local disaster index and the case study of Colombia
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Analysis of small disasters illustrates how these frequent events, usually as result of the climate variability, increase difficulties for the local development and entail a serious problemfor the development of a country as a whole. These disasters, contrary to the extreme and extraordinary events, are not visible at the national level very often and their effects are not relevant frommacro-economic point of view. Small disasters usually affect the livelihoods of poor people in rural areas and small municipalities, perpetuating their level of poverty and human insecurity as factors of social vulnerability.On the other hand, in urban centers, small andmoderate disasters have allowed having a light of the city zones that historically have presented the greatest vulnerability levels.The main objective of this paper is to present the revisionmade to themethodology of the LocalDisaster Index (LDI),developed in the framework of the Program of Indicators for Disaster Risk Management in the Americas. The LDI in the new version illustrates that the accumulative impactmay be highly significant at the local level and, consequently, to the national level fromsocial point of view. In addition, the paper presents the results of the evaluation of the proneness of Colombia to small scale and chronic disasters and the type of impact they have to the local development and to the country from an aggregated point of view. Such analyses have detected the spatial variability and dispersion of vulnerability and risk in the country as a result of events that rarely enter the international or even national disaster databases,but which pose an accumulative development problemfor local areas and, given their overall probable impacts, for the country as a whole.
CitationMarulanda, M.; Cardona, O.; Barbat, H. The economic and social effects of small disasters: revision of the local disaster index and the case study of Colombia. "SOURCE: studies of the university: research, counsel, education", 10 Octubre 2008, núm. 10, p. 110-120.