Abstract Database


Supervisor: Fusanori MIURA
Country: Chile

A method for tsunami disaster risk assessment for Iquique, northern Chile is tested and proposed in this dissertation. It is based firstly on archive research and a collation of available data, followed by the partial application of the Project Cycle Management (PCM) method for systemic description of the city, and to identify issues that block the development of risk management. From this, and in consideration of previous research, it is inferred that the political benefit of risk management in Chile is not always clearly perceived, and, as responsible stake-holders are mainly government institutions, this causes an impasse in the system. Consequently, this study suggests ways to clarify the concept of risk, making it easier to manage. This entailed developing a method of assessing tsunami risk, using a matrix of hazard v/s impact for risk calculation suitable for Chile, i.e. taking account of local conditions in order to generate appropriately risk scales.

The city’s vulnerabilities were considered as a pyramid of four-levels, mathematically connected through the weighted sum of impacts, and subject to hazard exposure. The reliability of hazard estimation was considered at the second level, so introducing an incentive to improve the quality of hazard input. The probability of hazard occurrence was assumed in two possible scenarios, due to the lack of statistical data on seismic behavior for northern Chile. The physical input for hazard scenarios was taken from current official inundation maps, and from the estimation of vulnerable zones through analysis of remote sensing data.

The outcome of this research includes maps of risk distribution and radar charts indicating different types of vulnerability, clearly showing variables which need to be considered for effective risk reduction.

Regardless of assumptions due to lack of data and the limited scope of this work, the risk level in Iquique is high, reaching intolerable levels in some cases. For higher probability of hazard occurrence, the effect of a combined earthquake and tsunami would certainly generate a crisis situation.