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Authors: Nave, R.* 
Ricci, T.* 
Pacilli, M. G.* 
Title: Perception of risk for volcanic hazard in Indian Ocean: La Réunion Island case study.
Publisher: Springer
Issue Date: Sep-2015
ISBN: 978-3-642-31394-3
Keywords: risk perception, volcanic hazards
Subject Classification05. General::05.09. Miscellaneous::05.09.99. General or miscellaneous 
Abstract: In 2011 a research project on volcanic risk assessment at La Réunion Island (Project Aléa, Institute de Physique du Globe de Paris, France) was conducted in order to determine more efficient strategies to manage future volcanic crises. The project included the evaluation of volcanic scenarios through field and historical data analysis, as well as a survey on volcanic risk perception in resident population. A clear scientific information and an effective communication with public play a crucial role in risk mitigation strategies. In particular, the evaluation of the public perception during both volcanic crises and dormant periods is an important element in developing actions focused on specific social and cultural contexts. A questionnaire was developed based on the ones used in similar researches conducted on Italian active volcanoes. Items were designed to measure variables connected with personal perception of hazard and risk, trust in mitigation actions and in information received about these aspects. In addition, specific items related to the peculiarities of La Réunion Island environment were included. A total of 2,000 questionnaires were distributed taking into account factors such as the proximity to the volcano and the involvement of communities in recent volcanic emergencies. Main results coming out from this survey, if on the one hand show an adequate residents’ perception of natural hazards, on the other hand highlight their poor knowledge of the island’ active volcano, a similar lacking knowledge of emergency plan for volcanic crises, but also a high confidence in scientists to provide accurate and reliable information on volcanic risk and hazards in contrast with Local Authorities. Remarkable findings of this study assess some key elements that should be considered by the institutions in charge for defining policies aimed to volcanic risk mitigation and management of future volcanic crises.
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