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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(9), 1063; doi:10.3390/ijerph14091063

Disaster Governance for Community Resilience in Coastal Towns: Chilean Case Studies

1
Instituto de Ciencias Ambientales y Evolutivas, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad Austral de Chile, Valdivia 509000, Chile
2
Laboratorio de Paisaje y Resiliencia Urbana, Universidad Austral de Chile, Valdivia 509000, Chile
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 20 July 2017 / Revised: 6 September 2017 / Accepted: 8 September 2017 / Published: 14 September 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Public Health and Disasters)
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Abstract

This study aimed to further our understanding of a characteristic of Community Resilience known as Disaster Governance. Three attributes of Disaster Governance—redundancy, diversity, and overlap—were studied in four coastal towns in southern Chile that are at risk of tsunamis. Overall, we explored how different spatial structures of human settlements influence Disaster Governance. Using the Projective Mapping Technique, the distribution of emergency institutions (N = 32) and uses given to specific sites (e.g., for refuge, sanitary purposes and medical attention) were mapped. Content and GIS analyses (Directional Distribution and Kernel Density Index) were used to explore the dispersion and concentration of institutions and uses in each town. Disaster Governance was found to be highly influenced by decisions taken during regional, urban, and emergency planning. Governance is better in towns of higher order in the communal hierarchical structure. Most of the emergency institutions were found to be located in central and urban areas, which, in turn, assures more redundancy, overlap, and diversity in governance in the event of a tsunami. Lack of flexibility of emergency plans also limits governance in rural and indigenous areas. While the spatial relationships found in this study indicate that urban sectors have better Disaster Governance than rural and indigenous sectors, the influence of resource availability after tsunamis, the role and responsibility of different levels of governments, and the politics of disaster also play an important role in Disaster Governance for determining Community Resilience. These findings shed light on emergency planning and aspects of the Disaster Management cycle. View Full-Text
Keywords: disaster governance; community resilience; tsunami disaster governance; community resilience; tsunami
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Villagra, P.; Quintana, C. Disaster Governance for Community Resilience in Coastal Towns: Chilean Case Studies. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14, 1063.

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