Our usual landslide : ubiquitous hazard and socioeconomic causes of natural disaster in Indonesia

Publication Date : 1981-01-01
Author : Jeffery, Susan E.
Countries : Indonesia
Disaster Management Theme :
Disaster Type : Landslide
Document Type : Research Paper
Languange : en
Link :

Abstact :

The paper argues that social and economic processes may increase the vulnerability of populations to natural disaster and, insofar as they do this, such processes are to be considered as causes of disaster in the same way as the more obvious physical or environmental phenomena. The concept of natural hazard as a normal part of a population's relationship to its environment is discussed. It is suggested that populations are able to adapt to a certain range of hazard, but that external factors (such as resettlement in a different area of impoverishment) may change the population-environment relationship; the population's capacity to deal with hazard is reduced or restricted, thereby increasing its vulnerability to natural disaster. After a review of previous work on these themes, the analysis of vulnerability to natural disaster proceeds through a description of aspects of land use, settlement, migration and indigenous techniques and practices, which are set in the historical context of colonial and independent governmental policies and the development of the national Indonesian economy in relation to peasant subsistence production. Much of the case-study material is drawn from fieldwork on the islands of Lembata and Flores in Nusa Tenggara Timur in Indonesia. The paper concludes with a discussion of the theoretical and methodological implications of the analysis of vulnerability presented.