Vulnerability of Vietnam to typhoons: A spatial assessment based on hazards, exposure and adaptive capacity

Kim Anh Nguyen, Yuei An Liou, James P. Terry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

92 Scopus citations


Typhoons have devastating impacts across many Asian countries. Vietnam is presently one of the most disaster-prone nations. Typhoons regularly disrupt human lives and livelihoods in various ways and cause significant damage. Making efficient policy decisions to minimize the vulnerability of affected communities is crucial. This requires a deep understanding of the factors that make a society vulnerable to extreme events and natural disasters. An appropriate approach is integrating the three dimensions of hazard, exposure and sensitivity, and community adaptive capacity. However, the vulnerability and adaptive capacity response to typhoons within Vietnam is poorly investigated. Here, we develop a conceptual framework that incorporates 21 indicators to identify vulnerability and adaptive capacity (VAC) using geospatial techniques at regional scales, applied over Vietnam. We find large spatial differences in VAC and are able to identify the top-priority regions that need to enhance their adaptation to typhoons. The Southern Coastal area, South East and Red River Delta demonstrate high and very high vulnerability because of their physical features and the intensity of typhoons that frequently cross these parts of Vietnam. The lower Mekong Delta and Northern Coastal areas are vulnerable to typhoon-driven flood threats, in particular where compounded by sea-level rise. Our framework successfully identified the spatial distribution and different levels of VAC within acceptable limits of uncertainty. It can therefore serve as a template to tackle national issues in disaster risk reduction in Vietnam and assist in the development of suitable mitigation strategies to achieve sustainable outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-46
Number of pages16
JournalScience of the Total Environment
StatePublished - 10 Sep 2019


  • Adaptation
  • Adaptive capacity
  • Disaster risk reduction
  • Natural hazards
  • Typhoons
  • Vulnerability


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