Adaptive capacity & resilience to natural disasters in Latin America : a case study on the 2007 Ica, Peru earthquake

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2011-05

Authors

Zegarra-Coronado, Aurea Gabriela

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Abstract

The purpose of this study is to explore, compare, and analyze the process of learning and the importance of adaptation and resilience in a continuously evolving environment amidst natural disasters as seen in two earthquake-prone communities located in southern Peru. The framework of complex adaptive systems offers insight into understanding human limitations to control an environment that is constantly far from equilibrium. Complexity science theory supports the study and the self-organization of communities in the process of coping with a disaster. Reports generated from informal interviews and participatory techniques further support all evidential findings. The co-evolution process given by the participation of diverse agents may include the collaboration and involvement of victims as well as local, state, and national organizations. Results from the co-evolution process may derive from previous experiences, preparedness, education, the development of previous relationships, and the capacity of improvisation. Furthermore, solidarity, self-organization and adaptation of agents in a community may further influence the ability to deal effectively with unexpected adversity.

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