Assessment of vulnerability to storm surge flood is not only significant for the survival of the exposed communities but also for adaptation. Defining vulnerability as the function of exposure, sensitivity and resilience capacity, we propose a composite vulnerability index (CVI) to assess village- level vulnerability to storm surge flood in the Sundarban Biosphere Reserve (SBR), India. The composite vulnerability index based analysis revealed that of the total villages (1063) located in SBR; nearly half of the villages are highly and very highly vulnerable with least capacity to cope with any kind of extreme event. The villages located in the southern parts and adjacent to coast were found more vulnerable to storm surge while those located at higher elevation in the central part showed low vulnerability. Some villages in northern part of the region were under high and very high vulnerability due to presence of low lying and waterlogged wetlands. The findings of the study may have implications for developing resilience capacity in response to storm surge flooding. Thus, the methodology can help the local policymakers in integrating local multi-hazards knowledge and in making information actionable for mitigation and adaptation of storm surge flood hazard.
- Storm surge
- Sundarban Biosphere Reserve