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Assessing and mapping barangay-level social vulnerability of Tacloban City and Ormoc City to climate-related hazards

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The destruction left by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines highlighted not only the exposure of the country but also the underlying vulnerability of barangays (villages) to climate-related hazards. This study used geographic information system (GIS) tools to characterize social vulnerability to climate-related hazards of barangays of Tacloban City and Ormoc City using a modified social vulnerability index (SoVI). The SoVI used socioeconomic data mainly drawn from census and was computed from 11 indicators influencing sensitivity, adaptive capacity, and exposure. Social vulnerability varies spatially across the study areas, where Barangay 88, said to be the worst-hit barangay in Tacloban, and Barangay Naungan in Ormoc, recorded the highest vulnerability scores. Demographic and socioeconomic shifts are likely in both cities, given the population growth and increasing density of settlements already concentrated in hazard-prone barangays. Measures to reduce vulnerability should be a local priority and would require political will for community-based climate action, disaster risk reduction and management, and risk-sensitive land use development. This study provides an approach for assessing social vulnerability using available census and climate-related hazard data to determine areas for intervention at the barangay level.

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