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Vulnerability in a Tropical Cyclone Risk Model: Philippines Case Study
  • +2
  • Jane W. Baldwin,
  • Chia-Ying Lee,
  • Brian Walsh,
  • Suzana Camargo,
  • Adam Sobel
Jane W. Baldwin
Department of Earth System Science, University of California Irvine

Corresponding Author:jane.baldwin@uci.edu

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Chia-Ying Lee
Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University
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Brian Walsh
World Bank
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Suzana Camargo
Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University
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Adam Sobel
Columbia University
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The authors describe a tropical cyclone risk model for the Philippines, using methods that are open-source and can be straightforwardly generalized to other countries. Wind fields derived from historical observations, as well as those from an environmentally forced tropical cyclone hazard model (using environmental forcing from the recent historical period) are combined with data representing exposed value and vulnerability to determine asset losses. Exposed value is represented by the LitPop dataset, which assumes total asset value is distributed across a country following population density and nightlights data. Vulnerability is assumed to follow a functional form previously proposed by Emanuel, with free parameters chosen by a sensitivity analysis in which simulated and historical reported damages are compared for different parameter values. Use of different vulnerability parameters for the region around Manila yields much better agreement between simulated and actually reported losses than does a single set of parameters for the entire country. Even then, however, the model predicts no losses for a substantial number of historical storms which did in fact produce them, a difference the authors hypothesize is at least in part due to the use of wind speed as the sole metric of TC hazard, omitting explicit representation of flooding due to storm surge and/or rainfall.