Are current tsunami evacuation approaches safe enough?

Ario Muhammad, Raffaele De Risi, Flavia De Luca*, Nobuhito Mori, Tomohiro Yasuda, Katsuichiro Goda

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)
53 Downloads (Pure)


Developing an effective tsunami evacuation plan is essential for disaster risk reduction in coastal regions. To develop effective tsunami evacuation plans, real transportation network, interaction among evacuees, and uncertainties associated with future tsunami events need to be considered in a holistic manner. This study aims to develop such an integrated tsunami evacuation approach using agent-based evacuation simulation and advanced stochastic tsunami hazard assessment. As a case study, a urban area in Padang, Indonesia, threatened by tsunamis from the Mentawai–Sunda subduction zone, is adopted. The uncertainty of the tsunami hazard is taken into account by generating 900 stochastic tsunami inundation maps for three earthquake magnitudes, i.e. 8.5, 8.75, and 9.0. A simplified evacuation approach considering the evacuees moving directly to evacuation areas (defined a priori) is compared with two more rigorous agent-based modeling approaches: (a) a two-destination-point tsunami evacuation plan developed by the local government and (b) a multiple-destination-point plan developed in this study. The improved agent-based stochastic tsunami evacuation framework with multiple destinations takes advantage of the extensive tsunami hazard analyses to define safe areas in a dynamic manner and is capable of capturing the uncertainty of future tsunami risk in coastal areas. In contrast, the results clearly show that the simplified approach significantly underestimates the evacuation time, and the existing tsunami evacuation routes identified by local authorities may be insufficient to save lives.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)759-779
Number of pages21
JournalStochastic Environmental Research and Risk Assessment
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 24 Mar 2021


  • Tsunami
  • Evacuation
  • agent based modeling


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