University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Cambridge Volcanology Seminar > Integrating social and institutional vulnerabilities into volcanic risk scenarios: A case study at Nevado Cayambe, Ecuador

Integrating social and institutional vulnerabilities into volcanic risk scenarios: A case study at Nevado Cayambe, Ecuador

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Eight hundred million people live near active volcanoes worldwide, however many of them have never experienced volcanic eruptions or their associated hazards. While the volcanologist community provides essential understanding about volcanic systems, geographers and other social scientists share an equally fundamental role in assessing dimensions of vulnerability and risk and aiding preparedness efforts and managing volcanic crises.

Our current case study focuses on Cayambe Volcano in Northern Ecuador, which began to show signs of unrest in 2016. It is covered with a 22 km2 glacier that could trigger deadly mudflows in the city of Cayambe in a future eruption. However, little was done to prepare the population. As geographers facing the evidence of this preparedness “void”, we desire to build a pilot rapid assessment framework, based on data collected at Cayambe, which can be used to minimize the impact of hazard events. The framework includes for instance vulnerability assessments, risk perception, and evacuation modelling. It beneficiates from the inputs of colleagues from other disciplines working in volcanic environments, and from the close collaboration of the local communities and Civil Protection authorities. We aim to provide a set of preliminary guidelines for building a “social sciences framework” and conducting a rapid assessment to better address complex cases of volcanic unrest at other understudied, potentially active volcanoes.

This talk is part of the Cambridge Volcanology Seminar series.

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