Assessing spatial flood vulnerability at kalapara upazila in Bangladesh using an analytic hierarchy process

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Sensors (Switzerland), 2019, 19 (6)
Issue Date:
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© 2019 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. Floods are common natural disasters worldwide, frequently causing loss of lives and huge economic and environmental damages. A spatial vulnerability mapping approach incorporating multi-criteria at the local scale is essential for deriving detailed vulnerability information for supporting flood mitigation strategies. This study developed a spatial multi-criteria-integrated approach of flood vulnerability mapping by using geospatial techniques at the local scale. The developed approach was applied on Kalapara Upazila in Bangladesh. This study incorporated 16 relevant criteria under three vulnerability components: physical vulnerability, social vulnerability and coping capacity. Criteria were converted into spatial layers, weighted and standardised to support the analytic hierarchy process. Individual vulnerability component maps were created using a weighted overlay technique, and then final vulnerability maps were produced from them. The spatial extents and levels of vulnerability were successfully identified from the produced maps. Results showed that the areas located within the eastern and south-western portions of the study area are highly vulnerable to floods due to low elevation, closeness to the active channel and more social components than other parts. However, with the integrated coping capacity, western and south-western parts are highly vulnerable because the eastern part demonstrated particularly high coping capacity compared with other parts. The approach provided was validated by qualitative judgement acquired from the field. The findings suggested the capability of this approach to assess the spatial vulnerability of flood effects in flood-affected areas for developing effective mitigation plans and strategies.
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