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Understanding Community-Level Flooding Awareness in Remote Coastal Towns in Northern Chile through Community Mapping

1
Graduate Program in Sustainability Science–Global Leadership Initiative, Graduate School of Frontier Sciences, The University of Tokyo, Building of Environmental Studies, 5-1-5 Kashiwanoha, Kashiwa City 277-8563, Japan
2
Departmento de Ingeniería Hidráulica y Ambiental, Escuela de Ingeniería, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago 7820436, Chile
3
Department of Civil Engineering, Universidad Católica de la Santísima Concepción, Concepción 4090541, Chile
4
Centro de Investigación para la Gestión Integrada del Riesgo de Desastres, (CIGIDEN), Santiago 7820436, Chile
5
College of Education and Human Development, University of Massachusetts Boston, Boston, MA 02125, USA
6
Department of Urban and Civil Engineering, Tokyo City University, Tokyo 158-8557, Japan
7
Faculty of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Waseda University, 60-106, 3-4-1 Okubo, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 169-8555, Japan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Geosciences 2019, 9(7), 279; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9070279
Received: 29 April 2019 / Revised: 4 June 2019 / Accepted: 13 June 2019 / Published: 26 June 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue River, Urban, and Coastal Flood Risk)
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Abstract

In 2015 and 2017 unusual ocean and atmospheric conditions produced many years’ worth of rainfall in short periods over Northern Chile’s Atacama Desert, resulting in catastrophic flooding in the town of Chañaral. However, the town is not only at risk of fluvial flooding, it is also at risk of tsunamis. Through a community mapping exercise, the authors attempted to establish the level of community awareness about tsunamis, and contrasted it with that of other types of water-related hazards facing the town (namely that of flooding due to high intensity rain). This was then compared with the results of field surveys and tsunami hazard simulations, indicating than overall the community appears to have better awareness than authorities about the threat posed by these types of events. The authors thus concluded that in cases when the community has a high level of hazard awareness (which in the case of Chile was the result of traditional knowledge being transmitted from previous generations) it would be advantageous to include them in discussions on how to improve disaster resilience. View Full-Text
Keywords: community mapping; Chile; tsunami awareness; remote communities; participatory design; human-centered design community mapping; Chile; tsunami awareness; remote communities; participatory design; human-centered design
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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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Cubelos, C.; Kularathna, A.H.T.S.; Bruno Valenzuela, V.P.; Iliopoulos, N.; Quiroz, M.; Yavar, R.; Henriquez, P.; Bacigalupe, G.; Onuki, M.; Mikami, T.; Cienfuegos, R.; Aranguiz, R.; Esteban, M. Understanding Community-Level Flooding Awareness in Remote Coastal Towns in Northern Chile through Community Mapping. Geosciences 2019, 9, 279.

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