Building Local Capacity for Managing Natural Disaster in Chile. the Experience of the Coastal City of Talcahuano (PAP014395)
Flood resilient societies through community preparedness
After the February 27th 8.8º earthquake (Richter scale) that affected the center-south of Chile and originated the tsunami which flooded a big percentage of the residence area and military base of the Talcahuano city, and affected a population higher than 180.000 people, (including 23 casualties and invaluable economic and environmental losses). We developed a social perception study to know what the people that was affected by the earthquake-tsunami felt, about risk, vulnerability, copy capacity concepts and how their assessment the local capacity for managing natural disaster. This diagnostic was not encouraging to the decisions taken because local population felt unsaved of flood episode, they were living with fear, gave a low score to the local government capacity to management natural disasters, and they did not fell involved in the reconstruction process and local planning. Considering this scenario, three years later of 27F, the harbor city of Talcahuano has been implemented, a new strategy with the goal to change the way to manage the risk and reduce natural disasters. This research based in the approach of governance reform risk, analyzed and evaluated the local public police implemented, and focused its results to answer three questions: a) how a flood risk could become a opportunity; b) how the governance process actions allow to involve and include the citizen in flood risk management strategy, especially in the basic principle of pro action and prevention, and c) which is the new step.