Social impact of environmental disasters: Evidence from Canary Islands volcanic eruption

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Social commitment to the environment, ecological attitudes and sense of place are essential indicators for the development of public policies aimed at environmental sustainability. Natural disasters are major events that affect people's well-being and perception of their environment. The objective of this research was to test the effects and consequences of the eruption of the volcano on the Spanish island of La Palma on 502 participants during a 10-month follow up. Of the total sample, 281 were direct victims of the volcanic eruptions and 221 participants formed the control group. Multiple analyses of variance were applied with repeated measures and by distinguishing the victim group and the control group participants. Three quadratic functions were also fitted relating the time variable to the following indicators: ecological attitudes, sense of place and perceived anxiety levels. In addition, the degree of commitment to nature was measured. The results found that this natural disaster predicted reductions in pro-ecological attitudes with an overall weight of 30.8% (43.9% for the victim group only) and 26.3% (36.8% for the victim group only) in sense of place. On the other hand, when analyzing stress levels, the natural disaster was able to explain 21.2% overall (92.8% for the victim group only) of the increases. The quadratic functions indicated that reductions and increases tended to stabilize two months after the natural disaster. We discuss the theorizing implicit in these effects and the implications they have for the development of public policies for environmental sustainability.

Idioma originalAnglès
Número d’article103613
Nombre de pàgines13
RevistaInternational Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction
Estat de la publicacióPublicada - 1 d’abr. 2023


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