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Citation Information

Type Journal Article - Landslides
Title Landslide risk perception in Mexico: a research gate into public awareness and knowledge
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2016
Page numbers 1-21
URL http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10346-016-0683-9
The purpose of this paper is to analyze landslide risk public awareness and knowledge in Mexico based on people’s common understanding and perception of landsliding associated with previous events. The methodology involved the design and application of a risk perception questionnaire in the municipality of Teziutlán, Puebla, Mexico, an area that has been historically affected by mass movement processes, particularly during a rainfall induced landslide disaster event in October 1999. Sampling framework comprised two boroughs; Downtown Teziutlán (DTT, N?=?65), and San Andrés neighborhood (SAN, N?=?72). The former has no evidence of landslide risk, whereas the latter has been affected by landsliding. The questionnaire included the following items: (1) experience, (2) landslide risk awareness, (3) exposure, (4) preparedness, (5) responsibility, (6) response, and (7) trust. Results suggested that all the inhabitants of the sample are aware of risk of landsliding and consider the dwellings situated in the city center as the safest. The latter is consistent with a landslide susceptibility map on which hillslope material properties are reflected and lithological units of highest resistance are located beneath the city center. The need of undertaking different initiatives to achieve disaster risk reduction at community level was clearly expressed by the respondents in terms of ranking all the actions listed in the questionnaire as of high and moderate priority to improve the security of the residents. Highest accountability for actions in case of a landslide disaster was attached to the Mexican Army, as it is in charge of disaster response nationwide. Responses provided by the municipal government, health institutions and the Red Cross in DTT and by the state and municipal government along with civil protection in SAN were perceived as bad or just sufficient. High level of people’s confidence to get information on landslide disaster preparedness and response from the Red Cross and scientists was also perceived in the two communities. From the outcome of the present investigation, it is possible to conclude and reinforce the argument that a better understanding on how landsliding is perceived is one of the most significant issues for enhancing landslide disaster risk awareness and knowledge and to guarantee the advance of resilient communities at individual and collective scales.

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