09 Nov 2021
09 Nov 2021
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal NHESS.

Modelling geographical and built environment’s attributes as predictors of human vulnerability during tsunami evacuations: a multi-case study and paths to improvement

Jorge León1,3, Alejandra Gubler2,3, and Alonso Ogueda4 Jorge León et al.
  • 1Department of Architecture, Universidad Técnica Federico Santa María, Valparaíso, Chile
  • 2Department of Civil Engineering, Universidad Técnica Federico Santa María, Valparaíso, Chile
  • 3National Research Center for Integrated Natural Disaster Management (CIGIDEN), Santiago, Chile
  • 4Department of Mathematical Sciences, George Mason University, Virginia, United States

Abstract. Evacuation is the most important and effective method to save human lives during a tsunami. In this respect, challenges exist in developing quantitative analyses of the relationships between the evacuation potential and the built environment and geographical attributes of coastal locations. This paper proposes a computer-based modelling approach (including inundation, evacuation, and built environment metrics), followed by multivariate regressive analysis, to estimate how those attributes might influence the expected tsunami death ratios of seven Chilean coastal cities. We obtained, for the examined variables, their average values to different thresholds of the death ratio. Also, our statistical analysis allowed us to compare the relative importance of each metric, showing that the maximum flood, the straightness of the street network, the total route length, and the travel time can have a significant impact on the expected death ratios. Moreover, we suggest that these results could lead to spatial planning guidelines for developing new urban areas into exposed territories (if this expansion cannot be restricted or discouraged) or retrofitting existing ones, with the final aim of enhancing evacuation and therefore increasing resilience.

Jorge León et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on nhess-2021-309', Anonymous Referee #1, 26 Dec 2021
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Jorge Leon, 27 Dec 2021
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC1', Jorge Leon, 20 Apr 2022
  • RC2: 'Comment on nhess-2021-309', Anonymous Referee #2, 04 Apr 2022
    • AC3: 'Reply on RC2', Jorge Leon, 20 Apr 2022

Jorge León et al.

Jorge León et al.


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Short summary
Our research focuses on how the geophysical characteristics of coastal cities can determine the evacuees' vulnerability during a tsunami evacuation. We identify and analyse some of those essential characteristics by examining seven case studies in Chile through computer-based inundation and evacuation modelling. These results could lead to urban planning guidelines to enhance future evacuations and increasing resilience to tsunamis throughout the world.