WIT Press

Assessment Of Social Vulnerability Against Disasters: A Pilot Case For An Earthquake In Istanbul


Free (open access)





Page Range

13 - 24




1,953 kb

Paper DOI



WIT Press


B. Ergün Konukcu, E. Y. Menteşe, O. Kiliç


According to the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), disasters are events which cause physical, economic and environmental losses and effects that exceed the coping capacity of societies and harm their functionality. The most apparent results of the disasters are physical such as building or lifeline damage and loss of lives. It is also known that the social components of society are also under threat and the loss of these values can increase the physical impacts of disasters causing cascading effects. Social vulnerability is defined as “the characteristics of a person or group and their situation that influence their capacity to anticipate, cope with, resist and recover from the impact of a natural hazard”.

With this study, we aim to develop an ex-ante assessment model to understand social vulnerability against disasters. The model depends on indicators and their interrelation with each other. The basic idea behind the indicator selection has been to grasp where the level of fragility is high and the level of resilience is low against disasters. A pilot study covering 50 sub-districts of Istanbul is carried out to obtain data for quantification of the indicators (demographical, economical, disability, health, community preparedness and mobility). To improve the data resolution; 8000 samples (households) are selected to represent each subdistrict. As a result of the analysis, 50 sub-districts are compared to each other based on an Analytical Hierarchy Process according to their level of social vulnerability.


social vulnerability, social survey, earthquake, Istanbul, resilience