EGU23-5563, updated on 10 Jan 2024
EGU General Assembly 2023
© Author(s) 2024. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

From vulnerability to vulnerabilities for a probabilistic flood displacement risk model: the case study of Fiji and Vanuatu.

Eva Trasforini1, Lauro Rossi1, Sylvain Ponserre2, Lorenzo Campo1, Andrea Libertino1, Daria Ottonelli1, and Roberto Rudari1
Eva Trasforini et al.
  • 1CIMA Research Foundation, Savona, Italy
  • 2IDMC Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre, Humanitarian Hub Office, Geneva, Switzerland

Floods have triggered about 166 million displacements globally since 2008, according to the Internal Displacement Monitoring Center (IDMC). Since 2008, most of the displacements triggered by floods have been localized in Asia and the Pacific and with an overall estimate of 129 million displacements. Small Island Developing States (SIDS) states bear the greatest displacement risk relative to their population size. Climate change combined with vulnerability of exposed infrastructure, and housing poses an existential threat for some Pacific islands that could see their populations move not only internally but also across borders. These magnitudes of forced movement highlight the importance of the phenomenon. In this context, we present a first attempt to estimate present and future riverine flood displacement risk at the national and sub-national level for two countries in the Pacific Ocean: Fiji and Vanuatu.

This work proposes a new methodology that provides a more comprehensive assessment of vulnerability in the context of disaster displacement risk and recognizes that people’s vulnerability depends on several physical and social factors. Such elements, however, are not yet included in standard risk models because difficultly quantifiable. While quantitative approaches to disaster displacement risk assessment generally consider the likelihood of housing rendered unhabitable as a proxy for displacement, this new methodology expands this concept by taking into account different elements that may trigger displacements or may increase the susceptibility to forced movement: 1) impact on houses; 2) impact on livelihoods; 3) impact on critical facilities and services.

A probabilistic risk assessment was performed at building scale in present and future climate conditions: under current climate conditions (1979-2016); under medium-term projected climate conditions (2016 - 2060); under long-term projected climate conditions (2061 – 2100). As results, displacement risk information - expressed in annual average displacement (AAD) and probable maximum displacement (PMD) - were calculated at national and subnational (NUTS2) scales, allowing for a geographic and quantitative comparison both within and between countries. The computation performed at building scale also allowed for result aggregation by sectors.

The outputs of the probabilistic model  show an important role of climate change in determining future likelihood to displacement due to riverine floods in the area. Flood displacement risk is likely to double by 2060 in both countries, and under the pessimistic long-term scenarios AAD is expected to triple in Fiji and quadruple in Vanuatu. These analyses are an important step in risk awareness processes and key to pushing for risk reduction, adaptation, and management mechanisms to be put in place.



How to cite: Trasforini, E., Rossi, L., Ponserre, S., Campo, L., Libertino, A., Ottonelli, D., and Rudari, R.: From vulnerability to vulnerabilities for a probabilistic flood displacement risk model: the case study of Fiji and Vanuatu., EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 23–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-5563,, 2023.