Vulnerable and Invisible: Impact of Hurricane Activity on a Peasant Population in a Mountainous Region on the Mexican Pacific Coast

Abstract / Resumen / Resumo

This research illustrates, in the frame of social vulnerability, the consequences of the impact of hurricane ‘Manuel’ in a Pacific coastal landscape of Mexico. The paper discusses the following topics: the spatial incidence of hurricanes in the Mexican rural areas, the previous events in the study area, and the approaches to prevention, mitigation and damage control. Ethnographic and meteorological data, official primary sources and media material were collected and analyzed. Results suggest, despite hurricanes are common in the area, no early warning systems or mitigation schemes are on place. Omission of government action creates what we describe as government-driven vulnerability, increasing the exposure of settlers to such events in the study area and similar regions.