Natural Hazards

, Volume 71, Issue 1, pp 851–870 | Cite as

Tsunami vulnerability evaluation in the Mentawai islands based on the field survey of the 2010 tsunami

  • Takahito Mikami
  • Tomoya Shibayama
  • Miguel Esteban
  • Koichiro Ohira
  • Jun Sasaki
  • Takayuki Suzuki
  • Hendra Achiari
  • Teguh Widodo
Original Paper


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.


Tsunami 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).


  1. Borrero JC, Weiss R, Okal EA, Hidayat R, Arcas SD, Titov VV (2009) The tsunami of 2007 September 12, Bengkulu province, Sumatra, Indonesia: post-tsunami field survey and numerical modeling. Geophys J Int 178:180–194. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-246X.2008.04058.x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Borrero JC, McAdoo B, Jaffe B, Dengler L, Gelfenbaum G, Higman B, Hidayat R, Moore A, Kongko W, Lukijanto, Peters R, Prasetya G, Titov V, Yulianto E (2011) Field survey of the March 28, 2005 Nias-Simeulue earthquake and tsunami. Pure Appl Geophys 168:1075–1088. doi: 10.1007/s00024-010-0218-6
  3. Buckley R (2002) Surf tourism and sustainable development in Indo-Pacific islands. II. Recreational capacity management and case study. J Sustain Tour 10(5):425–442. doi: 10.1080/09669580208667177 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Dengler L (2005) The role of education in the national tsunami hazard mitigation program. Nat Hazards 35:141–153CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Fritz HM, Kalligeris N (2008) Ancestral heritage saves tribes during 1 April 2007 Solomon Islands tsunami. Geophys Res Lett 35:L01607 (5 pages). doi: 10.1029/2007GL031654
  6. Hamzah L, Puspito NT, Imamura F (2000) Tsunami catalog and zones in Indonesia. J Nat Disaster Sci 22(1):25–43CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Hill EM, Borrero JC, Huang Z, Qiu Q, Banerjee P, Natawidjaja DH, Elosegui P, Fritz HM, Suwargadi BW, Pranantyo IR, Li L, Macpherson KA, Skanavis V, Synolakis CE, Sieh K (2012) The 2010 Mw 7.8 Mentawai earthquake: very shallow source of a rare tsunami earthquake determined from tsunami field survey and near-field GPS data. J Geophys Res 117:B06402 (21 pages). doi: 10.1029/2012JB009159 Google Scholar
  8. Jaffe BE, Borrero JC, Prasetya GS, Peters R, McAdoo B, Gelfenbaum G, Morton R, Ruggiero P, Higman B, Dengler L, Hidayat R, Kingsley E, Kongko W, Lukijanto, Moore A, Titov V, Yulianto E (2006) Northwest Sumatra and offshore islands field survey after the December 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami. Earthq Spectr 22(S3):S105–S135. doi: 10.1193/1.2207724
  9. Kanamori H, Rivera L, Lee WHK (2010) Historical seismograms for unravelling a mysterious earthquake: the 1907 Sumatra Earthquake. Geophys J Int 183:358–374. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-246X.2010.04731.x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Mansinha L, Smylie DE (1971) The displacement fields of inclined faults. Bull Seismol Soc Am 61(5):1433–1440Google Scholar
  11. McAdoo B, Dengler L, Prasetya G, Titov V (2006) Smong: how an oral history saved thousands on Indonesia’s Simeulue Island during the December 2004 and March 2005 Tsunamis. Earthq Spectr 22(S3):661–669. doi: 10.1193/1.2204966 Google Scholar
  12. Mikami T, Shibayama T, Esteban M, Matsumaru R (2012) Field Survey of the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami in Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures. Coast Eng J 54(1):125011 (26 pages). doi: 10.1142/S0578563412500118
  13. Monecke K, Finger W, Klarer D, Kongko W, McAdoo BG, Moore AL (2008) A 1,000-year sediment record of tsunami recurrence in northern Sumatra. Nature 455:1232–1234. doi: 10.1038/nature07374 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Munch U, Rudloff A, Lauterjung J (2011) Preface “The GITEWS project—results, summary and outlook”. Nat Hazards Earth Syst Sci 11:765–769. doi: 10.5194/nhess-11-765-2011 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Natawidjaja DH, Sieh K, Chlieh M, Galetzka J, Suwargadi BW, Cheng H, Edwards RL, Avouac J-P, Ward SN (2006) Source parameters of the great Sumatran megathrust earthquakes of 1797 and 1833 inferred from coral microatolls. J Geophys Res 111:B06403 (37 pages). doi: 10.1029/2005JB004025 Google Scholar
  16. OCHA (2010) MENTAWAI ISLANDS—affected areas in Sipora Island (situation map). Accessed 8 Sep 2012
  17. Sahal A, Morin J (2012) Effects of the October 25, 2010, Mentawai tsunami in La Réunion Island (France): observations and crisis management. Nat Hazards 62(3):1125–1136. doi: 10.1007/s11069-012-0136-2 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Satake K, Nishimura Y, Putra PS, Gusman AR, Tanioka Y, Fujii Y, Sunendar H, Latief H, Yulianto E (2012) Tsunami source of the 2010 Mentawai, Indonesia earthquake inferred from tsunami field survey and waveform modeling. Pure Appl Geophys (in press). doi: 10.1007/s00024-012-0536-y
  19. Shibayama T, Esteban M, Nistor I, Takagi H, Thao ND, Matsumaru R, Mikami T, Aranguiz R, Jayaratne R, Ohira K (2013) Classification of tsunami and evacuation areas. Nat Hazards (accepted)Google Scholar
  20. Sieh K, Natawidjaja DH, Meltzner AJ, Shen C–C, Cheng H, Li K-S, Suwargadi BW, Galetzka J, Philibosian B, Edwards RL (2008) Earthquake supercycles inferred from sea-level changes recorded in the corals of west Sumatra. Science 322:1674–1678. doi: 10.1126/science.1163589 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Tomita T, Arikawa T, Tatsumi D, Honda K (2008) Tsunami damage in Solomon Islands in April 2007. Proceedings of the 31st international conference on coastal engineering, Hamburg, Germany, pp 1300–1312Google Scholar
  22. Tomita T, Arikawa T, Kumagai K, Tatsumi D, Yeom G-S (2011) Field survey on the 2010 Mentawai tsunami disaster. Technical Note of the Port and Airport Research Institute, No. 1235 (Japanese)Google Scholar
  23. Wessel P, Smith WHF (1998) New, improved version of generic mapping tools released. Eos Trans 79(47):579CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Takahito Mikami
    • 1
  • Tomoya Shibayama
    • 1
  • Miguel Esteban
    • 2
  • Koichiro Ohira
    • 3
  • Jun Sasaki
    • 4
  • Takayuki Suzuki
    • 5
  • Hendra Achiari
    • 6
  • Teguh Widodo
    • 7
  1. 1.Department of Civil and Environmental EngineeringWaseda UniversityTokyoJapan
  2. 2.Graduate Program in Sustainability Science-Global Leadership Initiative (GPSS-GLI), Graduate School of Frontier SciencesThe University of TokyoKashiwa, ChibaJapan
  3. 3.Chubu Electric Power CompanyGifuJapan
  4. 4.Department of Socio-Cultural Environmental Studies, Graduate School of Frontier SciencesThe University of TokyoKashiwa, ChibaJapan
  5. 5.Faculty of Urban InnovationYokohama National UniversityYokohamaJapan
  6. 6.Bandung Institute of TechnologyBandungIndonesia
  7. 7.Graduate Program in Sekolah Tinggi Ilmu Administrasi BNM PariamanSumatraIndonesia

Personalised recommendations