Fiji

Sudden-Onset Hazards and the Risk of Future Displacement in Fiji

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Summary

Disaster displacement is one of the world's biggest humanitarian and sustainable development challenges, and climate change and urbanisation are expected to aggravate the phenomenon.
IDMC has used its global internal displacement database to look at future displacement risk associated with sudden-onset hazards such as earthquakes, tsunamis, cyclonic winds and storm surges. The analysis considered a wide range of possible hazard scenarios, their likelihood and their potential to cause housing damage, which served as a proxy for displacement.
This technical paper represents initial results assessing the risk of disaster displacement in Fiji. It acknowledges that displacement associated with climate change and disasters in the country happens to communities, households and individuals and response is not stateled. It also recognises that while displacement based on Fiji's Displacement Guidelines is distinct from planned relocation and evacuation, there are clear indicators that the group of people affected by both processes intersect.
This baseline country risk profile provides initial results of hazard, risk and uncertainties for these sudden onset hazards via two metrics at the national level:

• Probable Maximum Displacement (PMD) is the maximum displacement expected within a given time period. It answers the question: What is the maximum expected displacement within a time range of X years? It represents the outlier event that could occur during that time frame.

• Average Annual Displacement (AAD) represents the annualized accumulated effect of all the catalogue events. It is a compact metric which accounts for the probable displacement of small to medium and extreme events.
Fiji’s displacement risk, for example, is highest with storm surges. There is a 56 per cent probability that in the next 20 years about 35,000 people will be displaced as a result of storm surges in the archipelago.
About 5,800 people on average are likely to be displaced during any given year in the country by sudden-onset hazards, such as earthquakes, tsunamis, cyclonic winds and storm surges. This is the Annual Average Displacement metric.
Displacement risk is based on the well-known equation of risk, using 3 components:

  1. Hazard: this component assesses the likelihood of different hazards, as well as their intensity

  2. Exposure: the number of people and assets exposed to hazards

  3. Vulnerability: assesses the likelihood of collapse and structural damage to exposed buildings. Vulnerability should not be considered from an economic and social point of view. This model uses only the physical aspect of vulnerability and how assets react to different hazard intensities that render them uninhabitable.