Risk prevention and policy formulation : responding to the 1999 mud-floods catastrophe in El Litoral Central, Venezuela
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Urban Studies and Planning.
John de Monchaux.
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Fifteen days of constant and intense rainfall in Venezuela culminated on December 16 1999, in catastrophic landslides and flooding along 25 miles of the Vargas State coastal strip. This catastrophe ravaged the Caracas seaside, ripping up houses and infrastructure and literally reshaping the coastline and beaches. Historical records indicate that similar natural events leading to landslides have occurred in this region before-each fifty years on average. Moreover, the evidence of obliterated structures over hazard-prone areas in Vargas State's cities has led the assumption that land-use planning was not successfully used as a hazard- mitigating technique. Today, after the 1999 mud-flood catastrophe, Venezuela's government is implementing land-use mitigation strategies. However, their efficiency in face of future similar events is not guaranteed. Depending on the tools and instruments used to implement these strategies, these programs will perform successfully --saving lives, time, and resources and promoting the economic and social growth of the region-or fail just as they have in the past. With the aid of government, dwellers have returned slowly to reconstruct their damaged properties, forgetting the strength of nature and the footprints of the rivers, to rebuild in hazard-prone areas and thus starting the cycle again. To evaluate this cycle, this study analyzes the tools used by the Venezuelan government to implement and-use policies in this risk-prone area. This study finds that the combination of tools used in the past and the combination used in the current program are inefficient to pursue the desired goals.(cont.) These programs are mainly owned and operated by the national government, leaving very little space for local government, the private sector and communities to participate in the reconstruction process. This predominance does not mean national government should not be present in these programs. It does mean that the national government should inform, coordinate, and provide incentives to local governments to engage proactively in the reconstruction process while incorporating mitigation measures in land-use planning. Vargas State inhabitants must be active and willing participants in this process and the government should provide whatever assistance may be needed.
Thesis (S.M.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Urban Studies and Planning, 2005.Pages 91-115 consist of 8 folded col. maps printed in leaves, 28 x 43 cm., inserted in pocket on p.  of cover.Includes bibliographical references (p. 115-116).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Urban Studies and Planning.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Urban Studies and Planning.