Rapid vulnerability assessment in Sri Lanka

Type Book
Title Rapid vulnerability assessment in Sri Lanka
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2007
Publisher UNU-EHS
URL http://collections.unu.edu/eserv/UNU:1874/pdf3992.pdf
This UNU-EHS study deals with the development and testing of different methodologies to identify and
measure the pre-existing and emergent vulnerability (revealed vulnerability) of coastal communities in Sri
Lanka to tsunamis and coastal hazards.The results of the study show that females were more vulnerable
to the tsunami than males.Single-storey buildings were more likely to collapse than multi-storey buildings
(physical vulnerability),particularly in the first 100 meters from the sea.The likelihood of being killed in the
first 100m from the sea was twice as high as in the 200m and 300m zones from the sea.Those who survived,
needed loans to rebuild their properties and businesses. Friends, neighbours and relatives were mostly
the source of loans; and not the formal banking sector.The study reveals that people and households in
Batticaloa face greater difficulties recovering from losses than people and households in Galle.While, for
example, around 25 percent of the households included in the survey in Galle need more than two years
to replace their actual housing damage, the same category is nearer 60 percent in Batticaloa.This might
also be a result of the devastating conflict in the region over the past 20 years.
This study not only provides new insights into the vulnerability of coastal communities and cities in Sri
Lanka,it also gives an overview of different methodologies,in terms of their advantages and disadvantages,
with regard to the identification, measurement and assessment of vulnerability.
In addition to its significant findings and policy recommendations the study provides in-depth information
about different data sources that can be used to assess various characteristics of vulnerability.Methods of
measuring the vulnerability of the built environment, critical infrastructures and social groups are shown.
The project also aimed to strengthen the role and capacities of universities in disaster-hit countries in the
reconstruction process, for example in developing methods to identify areas where support is most
needed. The study was undertaken primarily in the city of Galle, and additional research was conducted
in the city of Batticaloa.The report presents the results of a joint project, coordinated by UNU-EHS and involving
the University of Colombo, the University of Ruhuna, the Eastern University, the German Space
Agency and the Centre for Development Research (ZEF). The project received financial support from

Related studies