Articles | Volume 11, issue 2
Research article
01 Feb 2011
Research article |  | 01 Feb 2011

Generating tsunami risk knowledge at community level as a base for planning and implementation of risk reduction strategies

S. Wegscheider, J. Post, K. Zosseder, M. Mück, G. Strunz, T. Riedlinger, A. Muhari, and H. Z. Anwar

Abstract. More than 4 million Indonesians live in tsunami-prone areas along the southern and western coasts of Sumatra, Java and Bali. Although a Tsunami Early Warning Center in Jakarta now exists, installed after the devastating 2004 tsunami, it is essential to develop tsunami risk knowledge within the exposed communities as a basis for tsunami disaster management. These communities need to implement risk reduction strategies to mitigate potential consequences.

The major aims of this paper are to present a risk assessment methodology which (1) identifies areas of high tsunami risk in terms of potential loss of life, (2) bridges the gaps between research and practical application, and (3) can be implemented at community level. High risk areas have a great need for action to improve people's response capabilities towards a disaster, thus reducing the risk. The methodology developed here is based on a GIS approach and combines hazard probability, hazard intensity, population density and people's response capability to assess the risk.

Within the framework of the GITEWS (German-Indonesian Tsunami Early Warning System) project, the methodology was applied to three pilot areas, one of which is southern Bali. Bali's tourism is concentrated for a great part in the communities of Kuta, Legian and Seminyak. Here alone, about 20 000 people live in high and very high tsunami risk areas. The development of risk reduction strategies is therefore of significant interest. A risk map produced for the study area in Bali can be used for local planning activities and the development of risk reduction strategies.