Nr. 5-6 /2017 -10

The growth of cities induced an increase in human exposure to natural hazards. Therefore, social impact of disasters has continually increased in time due to increase in „dynamic density” (Durkheim) of population in cities, although the destructive power and frequency of natural hazards within a certain geographic area has remained unchanged over time. Our study was designed to assess the social impact of an earthquake scenario threatening Bucharest under the hypothesis that it will occur during the night, with a magnitude close to 7,5 degrees, i.e. similar to that which struck the city in 1977. Sociologically, the social impact of a seismic risk scenario equates to the amount of social disruptions in the daily life of those who live in the area of that scenario (those social disruptions will add to the economic loss, injuries, buildings damages and a given number of casualties). A social impact assessment of seismic risk scenario in Bucharest at night was based on INCERC data (accessible via a rigorous study already published) and our own sociological surveys on the social memory of the ten types of natural and technological hazards. Subsequently, we evaluated the social impact by comparing three scenarios of seismic risk: a scenario similar to a „Quake-1977” and two other seismic risk scenarios: a „scenario of seismic risk in 100 years” and seismic risk in 1000 years. Relying on data from seismic risk scenarios and from the sociological survey we assessed total and sectoral social impact of those scenarios etc. In the second part of the study, we examined the epistemological basis of social impact assessment based on data obtained from sociological surveys on the social memory of previous hazards. 

Keywords: social impact of seismic risk scenarios, durable impact, sector-specific impact, scale of social impact, seismic risk at night. 

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