Abstract

The aims of this paper are to compare the differences in social vulnerability levels and evaluate the effects of social vulnerability on flood risk among affected households in the East Coast states of Peninsular Malaysia. By partially developing the component of social vulnerability within a household flood vulnerability index (FVI) given a total sample of 380 households and employing a multiple regression analysis, the findings vary by district, state and region. Among others, the districts of Kota Bharu, Kuala Krai, Kemaman, Kuantan and Temerloh are highly and socially vulnerable to floods. Meanwhile, Kelantan, Pahang and the East Coast states altogether are found to possess their highest social FVI ratings locally and regionally. Also, the regression results can have significant implications to various stakeholders; affected households, community leaders and policy makers to help mitigating the social vulnerability, thus leading to the flood risk reduction among the households at the state and regional levels. Thus, one policy recommendation for increasing the social resilience to floods among affected households is to constantly reassess the suitability of coping strategies, evacuation routes and relief centres so that the currently adopted ones are relevant and well-equipped to handle floods.