This paper presents the results of primary research with 40 survivors of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami in two communities: Khao Lak (n=20) and Koh Phi Phi Don (n=20), Thailand. It traces tsunami survivors' perceptions of vulnerability, determines whether residents felt that the tsunami affected different communities differently, identifies the populations and sub-community groups that survivors distinguished as being more vulnerable than others, highlights community-generated ideas about vulnerability reduction, and pinpoints a range of additional vulnerability reduction actions. Tsunami survivors most consistently identified the 'most vulnerable' community sub-populations as women, children, the elderly, foreigners, and the poor. In Khao Lak, however, respondents added 'Burmese migrants' to this list, whereas in Koh Phi Phi Don, they added 'Thai Muslims'. Results suggest that the two case study communities, both small, coastal, tourism-dominated communities no more than 100 kilometres apart, have differing vulnerable sub-groups and environmental vulnerabilities, requiring different post-disaster vulnerability reduction efforts.

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Disasters: the journal of disaster studies, policy and management
Arthur Kroeger College of Public Affairs

Steckley, M, & Doberstein, B. (Brent). (2011). Tsunami survivors' perspectives on vulnerability and vulnerability reduction: Evidence from Koh Phi Phi Don and Khao Lak, Thailand. Disasters: the journal of disaster studies, policy and management, 35(3), 465–487. doi:10.1111/j.1467-7717.2010.01221.x