This study describes the characteristics of the disaster-prone communities in Infanta, Quezon and determine their level of vulnerabilities. The disaster-affected communities consist of three barangays purposively selected based on their topographical characteristics– lowland, upland and coastal. The 107 respondents from the three selected barangays were grouped according to their biophysical characteristic, socio-economic characteristic, past experience with disaster, and emergency preparedness and adaptation strategies to disasters characteristics. The main assumption is that vulnerability to disaster such as flash floods and mudslides was dependent on these factors and since a significant number of residents were farmers, the clusters were named as Low Vulnerable Upland Farmers, Low Vulnerable Lowland Non-Farmers, High Vulnerable Coastal Farmers and High Vulnerable Coastal Non-Farmers. The clusters in the coastal, low-lying areas whose residents were either farmers or non farmers were considered the most highly vulnerable communities mainly because they were relatively poorer, less prepared for disaster and hadlimited strategies for adaption. Being poor was closely associated with being vulnerable.
Keywords: cluster analysis, natural disaster, vulnerability, social characteristics, Infanta, Quezon, Philippines