Telluric and climate-related risk awareness, and risk mitigation strategies in the Azores archipelago: first steps for building societal resilience

Ante Ivcevic, Isabel Estrela Rego, Rui Gaspar, Vania Statzu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Islands are often considered excellent socio-ecological laboratories for testing the rapidity of global change since they experience the climate effects of sea-level rise faster than other areas. The Azores are a Portuguese volcanic archipelago located on the junction of the three tectonic plates: the Eurasian, the African and the North American plates. São Miguel, the main island of the Azores archipelago, hosts three active volcanoes, but the last significant volcanic eruption was the Capelinhos volcano on the island of Faial in 1957. Hence, the Azores offers the opportunity to assess insular risk awareness, facing both telluric and climate-related hazards. The key research question emerges from their natural situation: how does the local population perceive the threat of the natural hazards that occur in Azores? Because risks are socially constructed and depend on the uniqueness of territories, risk mitigation strategies must focus on the individual experiences of local dwellers, as a relationship between risk awareness and such strategies may be expected. To analyze this relationship, a web-based survey with a questionnaire including these variables was administered to a sample of Azoreans. The study aimed to assess risk awareness of the Azorean population and find a relationship between this and reported mitigation strategies. The results gave a preliminary insight into Azorean risk awareness of natural hazards and showed a significant positive relationship between risk awareness-raising activities and reported mitigation strategies. This is relevant information for municipalities and regional governments of areas with similar risk exposures, showing that, although risk awareness alone is not enough for measures to be implemented, it may be an important motivational first step for this to occur.
Original languageEnglish
Article number8653
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2021


  • Climate-related risks
  • Risk awareness
  • Risk management
  • Telluric risks
  • Volcanic islands


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