Understanding urban flood vulnerability and resilience: a case study of Kuantan, Pahang, Malaysia

M. Y. Safiah Yusmah*, L. J. Bracken, Z. Sahdan, H. Norhaslina, M. D. Melasutra, A. Ghaffarianhoseini, S. Sumiliana, A. S. Shereen Farisha

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
3 Downloads (Pure)


Malaysia is frequently affected by the annual flooding event caused by the seasonal monsoon which accounts for significant losses. Flood risk, exposure and damage potential are increasing, causing the level of poverty and vulnerability to rise. The annual occurrence of the flood hazard has forced residents to prepare beforehand to help them spring back to their daily life faster. This study aimed to investigate and understand the vulnerability and resilience of the victims towards floods in Kuantan, Pahang. A qualitative approach of focus group discussion (FGD) is used to obtain detailed and authentic information. A total of thirty-one (31) participants who were flood victims took part in the FGD. Six groups were formed for the FGD based on different criteria such as gender, age, education background, occupation, monthly income and social class. Each FGD group consisted of four to six participants. When the participants were asked to rank their top five daily challenges, many thought that flooding is not a threat compared to food, because flooding occurs annually and is predictable. The results showed that the participants are well aware of the causes of the vulnerability faced by them due to the flooding event. Reasons highlighted from the results for the flood occurrence are the demography of the area, the location of the houses, the improper and inaccurate information and evacuation plan, the management of the transit centre and the lack of preparation by the community. The participants also thought that poor dissemination of early warning information and flood control infrastructures from the government and other related agencies caused the victims to have insufficient time to prepare for emergencies, hence causing the recovery process to be slower. However, from their hands-on experiences, they were able to put forward suggestions on the resilience towards flood for future references.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)551-571
Number of pages21
JournalNatural Hazards
Issue number2
Early online date14 Mar 2020
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2020
Externally publishedYes


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