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Vulnerability of Port and Harbor Communities to Earthquake and Tsunami Hazards: The Use of GIS in Community Hazard Planning

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Earthquakes and tsunamis pose significant threats to Pacific Northwest coastal port and harbor communities. Developing holistic mitigation and preparedness strategies to reduce the potential for loss of life and property damage requires community-wide vulnerability assessments that transcend traditional site-specific analyses. The ability of a geographic information system (GIS) to integrate natural, socioeconomic, and hazards information makes it an ideal assessment tool to support community hazard planning efforts. This article summarizes how GIS was used to assess the vulnerability of an Oregon port and harbor community to earthquake and tsunami hazards, as part of a larger risk-reduction planning initiative. The primary purposes of the GIS were to highlight community vulnerability issues and to identify areas that both are susceptible to hazards and contain valued port and harbor community resources. Results of the GIS analyses can help decision makers with limited mitigation resources set priorities for increasing community resiliency to natural hazards.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Geosciences, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon, USA 2: Marine Resource Management Program, College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon, USA

Publication date: July 1, 2004

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