Research on socio-economic vulnerability to landslides

     Rita Pestana, Pueblo Unido, 2018

Over the last couple of months I have primarily focused on a research on socio-economic vulnerability to landslides from the Faculty of Engineering in Geology and Petroleum from the Escuela Politécnica Nacional, and on preparing, in collaboration with my colleagues from Quito and Ambato, an exhibition on natural hazards in Ambato.

In the framework of research project on vulnerability, a field work took place on the 23rd and 24th of June. Me and my colleague Jael Mora coordinated, together with Eliana Jimenez (the coordinator of the project), and Maria Isabel Cupuerán (Mining Engineer and Master degree student), the work of 6 mining engineering students.

Socio-economic vulnerability

These students had to apply the socio-economic vulnerability questionnaire to around 100 houses around 13-km of the Simón Bolivar avenue in the south of Quito. I have also conducted semi-directed interviews to local leaders, in order to better evaluate the questionnaire’s results and to better understand the local context and the local problematics. Now, and until the end of September, it is time to process and analyse the questionnaires in order to obtain the socio-economic vulnerability results to the houses exposed to landslides along this avenue.

The earthquake in 1949 left 6000 dead in the Tungurahua province

I also recently had the opportunity to make some bibliographical research and interviews to survivors of the 1949’s earthquake, in Bolivar, a municipality that belongs to the Tungurahua province, in the Sierra region, South of Quito. This was an emotional experience, as people remembered difficult moments when they lost their houses and their way of living, but also a very rich one, as it is also a way to valorise their knowledge. This task was part of the “testimonies section” of an exhibition that the EU Aid Volunteers teams of Quito and Ambato have organized with the local organization NEO and that will take place in August of 2018 in Ambato.