Perceptions of Risk for Volcanic Hazards at Vesuvio and Etna, Italy

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The Australasian Journal of Disaster and Trauma Studies



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There is a considerable body of work concerning citizens' perceptions of risk regarding volcanic hazards, with most studies conducted in the United States and New Zealand. No comparable study has been done in Italy, where millions of residents live in close proximity to Mt. Etna and Mt. Vesuvio. This study compared the survey responses of 516 participants at Etna and Vesuvio on topics such as salience of the volcanic hazard, various measures of risk perception, perceived control over eruption effects, perceived preparedness, confidence in government officials' efforts to protect them from the eruption hazard, self efficacy and sense of community. While residents at Etna appeared to have an objective and informed perspective concerning the volcanic hazard, those residents living in the highest risk areas at Vesuvio demonstrated high levels of fear and perceived risk concerning an eruption, but low levels of perceived ability to protect themselves from the effects of an eruption. These Vesuvio residents also demonstrated low levels of awareness concerning evacuation plans, and low levels of confidence in the success of such plans.


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Originally published as Davis, M. S., Ricci, T., & Mitchell, L. M. (2005). Perceptions of risk for volcanic hazards at Vesuvio and Etna, Italy. The Australasian Journal of Disaster and Trauma Studies, 1, 21.