Advancing tsunami risk assessment by improving spatio-temporal population exposure and evacuation modeling

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27 Citations (Scopus)


Tsunamis are among the most destructive and lethal of coastal hazards. These are time-specific events, and despite directly affecting a narrow strip of coastline, a single occurrence can have devastating effects and cause massive loss of life, especially in urbanized coastal areas. In this work, in order to consider the time dependence of population exposure to tsunami threat, the variation of spatio-temporal population distribution in the daily cycle is mapped and analyzed in the Lisbon Metropolitan Area. High-resolution daytime and nighttime population distribution maps are developed using ‘intelligent dasymetric mapping,’ that is, applying areal interpolation to combine best-available census data and statistics with land use and land cover data. Workplace information and mobility statistics are considered for mapping daytime distribution. In combination with a tsunami hazard map, information on infrastructure, land use and terrain slope, the modeled population distribution is used to assess people’s evacuation speed, applying a geospatial evacuation modeling approach to the city of Lisbon. The detailed dynamic population exposure assessment allows producing both daytime and nighttime evacuation time maps, which provide valuable input for evacuation planning and management. Results show that a significant amount of population is at risk, and its numbers increase dramatically from nighttime to daytime, especially in the zones of high tsunami flooding susceptibility. Also, full evacuation can be problematic in the daytime period, even if initiated immediately after a major tsunami-triggering earthquake. The presented approach greatly improves tsunami risk assessment and can benefit all phases of the disaster management process.
Original languageUnknown
Pages (from-to)1311-1324
JournalNatural Hazards
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013

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