Living in-between: Implications of local risk perceptions for the management of future eruptions at the Calbuco and Osorno volcanoes (Ensenada, Chile)

Camila Alegría, Francisca Vergara Pinto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Since the perceptions of communities at risk play a central role in managing future emergencies, contingency plans must consider the appropriate involvement of the perspectives of exposed populations. This article addresses the case of Ensenada (Puerto Varas, Chile), a settlement located in the area of direct influence of the Calbuco and Osorno volcanoes. They respectively rank 2nd and 8th in the list of highest-threat Chilean volcanoes. Here we depict the multiple risk perceptions of the inhabitants of Ensenada and the integration of human perceptions into volcanic emergency management through qualitative research, based on semi-structured interviews and documentary analysis. Our results illustrate that Ensenada represents a settlement critically exposed to multiple hazards from both volcanoes, intertwined with a series of social conditions that influence individuals' self-perception as vulnerable to future eruptions and, simultaneously, as capable of acquiring conditions to strengthen disaster preparedness. Moreover, the locals are eager to participate in future emergency management planning and adopt preventive attitudes at community, household, and individual levels. Based on these results, we highlight the advantages of a better understanding of the causes of perceived risk and its integration into emergency management strategies for future eruptions, in order to visualise how people make sense of daily life and disaster preparedness in the midst of active volcanoes.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAndean Geology
Volume51
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2024

Keywords

  • Risk perception
  • disaster risk management
  • local community
  • Andes
  • Calbuco volcano
  • Osorno volcano
  • volcanology
  • Chile

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