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: davis dominican. Leonardo Murialdo 1, Roma, Italy. : t. Matthew S. Etna and Mt. While residents at Etna appeared to have an objective and informed perspective concerning the volcanic hazard, those residents living in the highest risk areas at Vesuvio demonstrated high levels of fear and perceived risk concerning an eruption, but low levels of perceived ability to protect themselves from the effects of an eruption. These Vesuvio residents also demonstrated low levels of awareness concerning evacuation plans, and low levels of confidence in the success of such plans.

Perceptions of Risk for Volcanic Hazards at Vesuvio and Etna, Italy Introduction Over the past three decades a large body of research has focused on how at-risk populations adjust to natural hazards. Preparatory behaviors such as heeding evacuation warnings, storing emergency food, water and supplies, or learning the proper actions to take in an emergency situation will save lives and reduce injuries when a disaster strikes.

Therefore, increasing our understanding of how individuals perceive the risks from natural hazards and of the factors related to accurate risk perception is an important area of study, as findings from such work can help to shape more effective community response through education programs and disaster planning. Another widely studied influence on perceived risk is prior experience with the effects of a particular hazard.

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In their study of residents prior to and after the eruption of Mt. Finally, drawing on the work from Health Psychology, Paton has suggested that other factors may also mediate the link among risk perception, intentions to take self-protective measures, and subsequent adoption of those measures. Two of these factors that are particularly relevant to the present study are self-efficacy and sense of community.

He stated that self-efficacy beliefs are positively related to factors such as optimism, motivation and perseverance, and are negatively related to anxiety, depression, and vulnerability to stress. Paton has argued that self-efficacy is an important variable that should be considered within the context of natural hazards research, since it has been linked to both perceived risk and adoption of hazard adjustments in a variety of past studies.

For example, Kallmen showed that measures of both general and personal risk for a variety of societal hazards were negatively correlated with a general measure of self-efficacy. In the context of hazards research, sense of community has typically been studied in relation to either the adoption of hazard adjustment measures or to psychological vulnerability in the aftermath of a disaster, and the of this work have been inconsistent. In contrast, studies involving risks posed by environmental degradation Bishop et al. According to Perry and Lindellof the many natural hazards which threaten human populations, volcanoes are distinguished by several unique characteristics.

Volcanic eruptions may produce a of diverse effects including earthquakes, pyroclastic flows and surges, lava flows, ash and pumice fall, flooding or mudflows, gas release, and tsunami. Some of these effects may last for weeks to months, representing a chronic, long term problem for the affected communities. Long intervals between eruptions can contribute to public ignorance of or complacency about the potential threat. Furthermore, volcanic areas are often places of great natural beauty, rich farmland, and bountiful recreational opportunities, encouraging both settlement and tourism.

The positive aspects of living in volcanically active areas further complicates how citizens perceive risk, since the perceived benefits of residing in these areas may work to outweigh the risks posed by a potential eruption. The vast majority of work on public perceptions of risk concerning volcanic hazards has been conducted in the United States at Mt.

A search of the literature in psychology and related disciplines revealed that no studies similar to these have been done in Italy, where two active and potentially dangerous volcanoes lie in close proximity to populated areas. Vesuvio, located in close proximity to the city of Naples in the Campania region of southern Italy, is most famous for its explosive Plinian eruption in 79 A.

Other catastrophic subplinian eruptions of Vesuvio occurred in and Communities in the Yellow Zone are further from Vesuvio and may be exposed to fallout hazards from the eruptive column, depending upon the direction and speed of prevailing winds during the eruption. The Blue Zone is an area that is exposed to hazards from mudflows and floods resulting from syneruptive or posteruptive remobilization by heavy rainfall of loose pyroclastic material deposited by the wind-dispersed eruptive column.

InItalian civil protection authorities approved a volcanic emergency plan calling for a total evacuation of the residents of the 18 communities located within the Red Zone in the event of increased activity at Vesuvio. Residents of each town are to be sent to a deated host region in another part of Italy, and this evacuation is estimated to require two weeks to complete.

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In addition, the government is offering cash incentives toward the purchase of a new home to residents who permanently move out of Red Zone communities and relocate in less risky areas Arie, ; McGuire, The emergency plan for the Red Zone is presently in the process of being reviewed and updated. Etna, located in the Catania region of eastern Sicily, is the largest volcano in Europe and it produced large eruptions in the 12th and 17th centuries.

Smaller eruptions are more frequent and Etna has erupted 15 times in just the past 30 years; however, only 14 people lost their lives during the 20th century as a result of eruptions of this volcano Behncke, Nevertheless, several smaller communities on the slopes of the mountain, some of which have been destroyed and rebuilt in the past, remain at considerable risk from the effects of an eruption. Ash falls also created disruption of air traffic in the area Behncke, ; Di Marco, At Vesuvio, the catastrophic potential of a major eruption will require that the entire at-risk population be evacuated, yet only a small percentage of the total population in this area is old enough to have had any direct experience with a eruption.

In contrast, while the risk of such a catastrophic eruption at Etna is much less than at Vesuvio, residents in this area have regularly and recently been exposed to the effects of eruptions. The purpose of the present study was to compare various aspects of risk perception between residents at Etna and Vesuvio, and to determine how factors such as self-efficacy and sense of community might be associated with risk perceptions. Additionally, local officials in both the Campania and Catania regions provided a great deal of support and assistance to us as we conducted the study, and it was their hope that information gathered from this research could be used to help them de more effective methods for educating and motivating the public to take the volcanic hazards in these areas more seriously.

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There were three general hypotheses in the present study. First, given the more recent volcanic activity at Etna, it was expected that the volcanic hazard would be more salient to these residents and that they would perceive the risk of an eruption to be greater than residents close to Vesuvio. Second, it was hypothesized that those residents who displayed higher levels of self-efficacy would view their risk from potential eruptions as lower. Method The research study was conducted during May, and a total of 2, surveys were distributed: in the vicinity of Vesuvio, and in the towns closest to Etna.

Two different sampling procedures were used to distribute and collect these surveys, and for this reason, description of the recruitment procedures will be discussed separately for each sample. Participants and Procedure, Sample 1 A total of surveys were distributed personally by the researchers: to residents of 21 communities in metropolitan Naples within close proximity to Vesuvio all of the 18 Red Zone communities and 3 Yellow Zone cities: Nocera Inferiore, Nola, and Poggiomarino and another to residents of 4 towns in eastern Sicily near the base of Etna: Linguaglossa, Nicolosi, Santa Venerina, and Zafferana.

The researchers recruited participants from diverse venues in the center of each town: shops, cafes, markets, social clubs and political organizations. In some cases, surveys were given directly to those who agreed to participate in the study, but in several places a few surveys were left with someone in charge so that clients of the business or members of the club or organization could complete a survey later that day. All interested volunteers received a packet containing a letter of introduction from the researchers, the survey measure, and a plain envelope in which the survey could be sealed and returned anonymously once completed.

Participants were told both in person and in the letter of introduction that the study concerned their perceptions of the town in which they live, their awareness of environmental problems facing their town, and their feelings regarding how much they could do to help solve those problems.

No mention was made of the fact that the true focus of the research was on perceptions of risk from volcanic hazards. Within 48 hours of distributing the survey packets, the researchers returned to each venue where surveys had been left and collected all completed surveys. A total of Participants and Procedure, Sample 2 An additional surveys were distributed with the aid of local government officials in Naples and Catania: in the towns near Vesuvio and in the towns at Etna.

Volunteers from local civil protection agencies visited middle and high schools in each town and distributed surveys to children in randomly selected classrooms. To avoid having predominantly male he of household complete the surveys and so as to obtain roughly similar s of male and female respondents, girls were instructed to have their mother fill out the survey and boys were asked to have their father complete it. Surveys were then to be returned to the classroom anonymously in sealed envelopes, where volunteers collected them several days later.

The researchers carefully explained the recruitment protocol to the volunteers, who were also advised not to inform the teachers or the students about the actual focus of the study. Of these, were from Vesuvio residents and from Etna residents, representing response rates of It should be noted that additional surveys were returned from Vesuvio area schools but were unusable.

Many of these had been filled out by minor children under the age of In one unusual case, 32 surveys from one town had evidently been fraudulently completed by the same person.

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Because of these problems, we were dubious as to how well the recruitment protocols had been carried out by the volunteers, and this led to our decision to at least initially keep data from the two samples separate. Additional demographic questions included sex, age, highest level of education achieved, and marital status. All of these measures were reverse translated from English to Italian and back into English to insure accuracy of the translation. In addition to the above-mentioned measures, two standardized psychological scales were included in the survey.

Except for these demographic differences between the two samples, statistical showed that on the survey measures themselves, response patterns of the two groups were virtually identical on the vast majority of variables.

The returned and usable surveys were divided into one of three groups on the basis of the location of the city in which the respondents resided. Additionally, the percentages of those who mentioned the volcano as a problem facing their city are included to demonstrate the salience of the volcanoes versus other community issues.

As the data indicate, in relation to social problems such as crime, dissatisfaction with public services, lack of social outlets, traffic, and pollution, mention of the volcano hazard as a problem was relatively low. However, among Etna residents, the volcano was the third most commonly mentioned problem; in the Vesuvio Red Zone the volcano was the 9th most commonly mentioned issue of a total of 12 problems while at the Vesuvio Yellow Zone, the volcano was not mentioned by even one resident. Another survey item, presented much later in the questionnaire measured hazard salience by having respondents rate the amount of time they spend thinking about the possibility of an eruption.

See Table 2 for a summary of these data. These included rating the likelihood of a volcanic eruption within the next 5 years, of their town being affected by such an eruption, and of being injured or of suffering some property damage in an eruption. Two other questions asked them to rate the severity of consequences that such an eruption would cause for their town, as well as for themselves and their families. Mean ratings on these items among the three groups were compared using a series of one-way ANOVAs and these data are presented in Table 2.

Table 2.

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ificant differences were found on all of these measures. Regarding the likelihood of an eruption, Etna residents expressed the highest expectation of a future eruption, with no differences between the Vesuvio groups. However, on four other items, a consistent pattern was observed such that residents of the Vesuvio Red Zone expressed ificantly higher likelihood ratings concerning the possibility of their town being affected or of suffering property damage in a future eruption and rated the potential consequences for their town and for themselves and their families as ificantly more serious; there were no ificant differences between the Etna and Vesuvio Yellow groups.

Finally, when rating the likelihood of being injured in a potential eruption, all three groups differed ificantly, with Vesuvio Red Zone residents again the highest, while Etna residents gave the lowest ratings concerning their chances of being injured. Participants were also asked to rate the extent to which various eruption effects earthquakes, lava flows, ashfall, mudflows and pyroclastic flows might cause problems for their community, and the of these analyses are presented in Table 3.

ificant differences were found for all five of these items. In general, indicated that Vesuvio Red Zone residents considered the risk posed by each of these threats as ificantly higher than did the other two groups, except for earthquakes; in this case, Etna and Vesuvio Red Zone residents rated quakes as a more serious threat than Vesuvio Yellow Zone residents.

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Table 3. Finally, participants were also asked to rate their level of fear regarding the possibility of an eruption. These data are also presented in Table 3. Again, Vesuvio Red Zone residents reported ificantly higher levels of fear, while Etna and Vesuvio Yellow Zone residents did not differ ificantly from one another. These data are presented in Table 4. Table 4. Perceived Preparedness and Confidence in Government by Group. Note: Ratings were made on a 5 point scale, with higher s indicating higher levels of perceived preparedness and confidence.

As the data indicate, ificant differences were found on two of the three items. Self Efficacy One survey item asked participants to rate the amount of control they feel they have over their ability to protect themselves from the effects of a potential eruption. This measure represents a more traditional, domain-specific measure of self-efficacy as defined by Bandura

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