Impacts of natural hazards on an early industrial community :a case study of North Bohemia and its implications for long-term vulnerability assessment
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Regional databases of natural hazards and their social impacts have been increasingly established from documentary data to provide a rationale for the adoption of new disaster risk reduction strategies. This approach is extended in this article by pointing out factors that may underlie the changes in social vulnerability to natural hazards and that may cause non-homogeneities in long-term vulnerability assessments. We use the newly-established historical multi-hazard database for North Bohemia, based on a thorough search in a local newspaper. Altogether 275 records reporting 599 individual hazard events were analysed with respect to their relative direct social impact. Finally, we discuss the uncertainties resulting from the use of documentary data, and illustrate how long-term changes in social vulnerability are influenced by time- dependent societal understanding of what is considered a hazard. This, in turn, accentuates the dynamics of cultural factors that should be considered when designing new risk reduction strategies.