Resilience of communities following the 2010 Eyjafjallajökull eruption - Residents' view of social support in the recovery process and reconstruction
Ingibjörg Lilja Ómarsdóttir, PhD student in Environmental and Natural Resources Studies at the University of Iceland.
Description of project
Ingibjörg Lilja received a grant in 2018 for his doctoral project "Resilience of communities following the 2010 Eyjafjallajökull eruption - Residents' view of social support in the recovery process and development" in Environmental and Natural Resources Studies at the University of Iceland.
Here she briefly presents her project.
The doctoral project focuses on trauma management and resilience of communities due to natural disasters. The project is a case study that examines the Eyjafjallajökull eruption in 2010. It examines how residents, staff and emergency responders in the municipalities Rangárþingi eystra and Mýrdalshreppi considered themselves ready to deal with an eruption before the eruption began, what effects the eruption had, and how they managed to deal with the consequences of the eruption. Two communities located close to the glacier are examined, the farming community under Austur-Eyjafjöllur and Vík in Mýrdal. Individual interviews were conducted with families in these communities as well as with responders and staff who had an important role to play in the aftermath of the event.
The focus of the study is twofold. On the one hand, it is about the role of social capital and social support when communities deal with the consequences of shocks, and on the other hand, about the organization of the civil defense system in Iceland with regard to those who play an important support role due to social shocks.
Strong southern appeal
The project focuses on an event that happened in South Iceland in 2010, or the Eyjafjallajökull eruption, and its impact on communities in South Iceland. Many of the main volcanoes in Iceland are located in the South, and as a result there are many communities in this territory that may have to deal with the consequences of volcanic eruptions. Therefore, the results of this research can be useful to more communities than those related to the project. The transfer of knowledge between societies is one of the fundamentals when it comes to resilience and resilience due to natural disasters. It is extremely important that communities share new knowledge following severe events with other communities that may have to deal with similar events in order to strengthen their resilience.
A lot of information related to the children
The doctoral research is still ongoing. All data has been collected and its analysis is well underway. The first of four articles, about residents’ views on social support in recovery and reconstruction, has been published. Writing continues on article two and three, which deal with the children and the effects of the eruption. The fourth article will focus on the views of staff and responders. The data turned out to be particularly rich in information related to the children, so I decided to add one article about them to answer the questions that arose during the data collection process.