Studying Displacement after a Disaster Using Large-Scale Survey Methods: Sumatra after the 2004 Tsunami

Gray, Clark L.; Frankenberg, Elizabeth; Gillespie, Thomas W.; Sumantri, Cecep; & Thomas, Duncan C. (2014). Studying Displacement after a Disaster Using Large-Scale Survey Methods: Sumatra after the 2004 Tsunami. Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 104(3), 594-612. PMCID: PMC4019446

Gray, Clark L.; Frankenberg, Elizabeth; Gillespie, Thomas W.; Sumantri, Cecep; & Thomas, Duncan C. (2014). Studying Displacement after a Disaster Using Large-Scale Survey Methods: Sumatra after the 2004 Tsunami. Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 104(3), 594-612. PMCID: PMC4019446

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Understanding of human vulnerability to environmental change has advanced in recent years, but measuring vulnerability and interpreting mobility across many sites differentially affected by change remains a significant challenge. Drawing on longitudinal data collected on the same respondents who were living in coastal areas of Indonesia before the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami and were reinterviewed after the tsunami, this article illustrates how the combination of population-based survey methods, satellite imagery and multivariate statistical analyses has the potential to provide new insights into vulnerability, mobility, and impacts of major disasters on population well-being. The data are used to map and analyze vulnerability to post-tsunami displacement across the provinces of Aceh and North Sumatra and to compare patterns of migration after the tsunami between damaged areas and areas not directly affected by the tsunami. The comparison reveals that migration after a disaster is less selective overall than migration in other contexts. Gender and age, for example, are strong predictors of moving from undamaged areas but are not related to displacement in areas experiencing damage. In our analyses, traditional predictors of vulnerability do not always operate in expected directions. Low levels of socioeconomic status and education were not predictive of moving after the tsunami, although for those who did move, they were predictive of displacement to a camp rather than a private home. This survey-based approach, although not without difficulties, is broadly applicable to many topics in human–environment research and potentially opens the door to rigorous testing of new hypotheses in this literature.


Population Movement, Diversity, Inequality
1A
2a


JOUR



Gray, Clark L.
Frankenberg, Elizabeth
Gillespie, Thomas W.
Sumantri, Cecep
Thomas, Duncan C.



2014


Annals of the Association of American Geographers

104

3

594-612








PMC4019446


10392

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