Tsunami vulnerability evaluation in the Mentawai islands based on the field survey of the 2010 tsunami
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On October 25, 2010, a large earthquake occurred off the coast of the Mentawai islands in Indonesia, generating a tsunami that caused damage to the coastal area of North Pagai, South Pagai, and Sipora islands. Field surveys were conducted soon after the event by several international survey teams, including the authors’. These surveys clarified the tsunami height distribution, the damage that took place, and residents’ awareness of tsunamis in the affected islands. Heights of over 5 m were recorded on the coastal area of the Indian Ocean side of North and South Pagai islands and the south part of Sipora island. In some villages, it was difficult to evacuate immediately after the earthquake because of the lack of routes to higher ground or the presence of rivers. Residents in some villages had taken part in tsunami drills or education; however, not all villages shared awareness of tsunami threats. In the present paper, based on the results of these field surveys, the vulnerability of these islands with regards to future tsunami threats was analyzed. Three important aspects of this tsunami disaster, namely the geographic disadvantage of the islands, the resilience of buildings and other infrastructure, and people’s awareness of tsunamis, are discussed in detail, and corresponding tsunami mitigation strategies are explained.
KeywordsTsunami vulnerability Field survey Remote islands 2010 Mentawai Islands Tsunami Sipora island
The present work was supported by the Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research (B) No. 22404011 from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS). Some of the figures were generated using the Generic Mapping Tools (Wessel and Smith 1998).
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