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Type Journal Article - Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences Discussions
Title Perceptions, impacts and adaptation of tropical cyclones in the Southwest Pacific: an urban perspective from Fiji, Vanuatu and Tonga
Volume 3
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2015
Page numbers 7135-7170
URL http://www.nat-hazards-earth-syst-sci-discuss.net/3/7135/2015/nhessd-3-7135-2015.pdf
To better understand perceptions, impacts and adaptation strategies related to tropical cyclones (TCs) in urban environments of the Southwest Pacific (SWP), a survey (with 130 participants) was conducted across three island nations; Fiji, Vanuatu and Tonga. 5 The key aims of this study include: (i) understanding local perceptions of TC activity, (ii) investigating physical impacts of TC activity, and (iii) uncovering adaptation strategies used to offset the impacts of TCs. It was found that current methods of adaptation generally occur at the local level immediately prior to a TC event (preparation of property, gathering of food, setting up of community centres). This method of adaptation 10 appears to be effective, however higher level adaptation measures (such as the development of building codes as developed in Fiji) may reduce vulnerability further. The survey responses also highlight that there is significant scope to provide education programs specifically aimed at improving the understanding of weather related aspects of TCs. Finally, we investigate the potential to merge ecological traditional knowledge with 15 the non-traditional knowledge of empirical and climate mode based weather forecasts to improve forecasting of TCs, which would ultimately reduce vulnerability and increase adaptive capacity.

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