In the world, there are very few experiences of studies oriented to the integral evaluation of risks due to natural hazards. In the case of volcanic risk, most of the scientific-technical and economic efforts have been oriented mainly toward the evaluation of threats, with few methodological considerations to assess vulnerability and much less risk. In other cases, the threat and vulnerability are evaluated independently, with many difficulties for the comprehensive risk assessment. Many of the studies called “vulnerability assessments” are only physical and functional characterizations and diagnoses of vital infrastructure and population. These characterizations can hardly be interpreted in terms of georeferenced indices and/or vulnerability maps that represent the spatial and temporal exposure of the elements exposed to each threat and, even less, that represent the intrinsic and extrinsic response capacities of these elements in comparison with the threats. In this chapter, a new conceptual and methodological approach is proposed for the integral evaluation of volcanic risk, which includes the generation and adjustment of a new equation for the determination of volcanic risk, based on the integral assessment of threats and vulnerabilities.
Part of the book: Forecasting Volcanic Eruptions