Natural Hazards

, Volume 86, Issue 3, pp 1175–1192 | Cite as

Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) Earthquake Behaviour Coding Methodology: analysis of Christchurch Public Hospital video data from the 22 February Christchurch earthquake event

  • Emily S. Lambie
  • Thomas M. Wilson
  • Erik Brogt
  • David M. Johnston
  • Michael Ardagh
  • Joanne Deely
  • Steven Jensen
  • Shirley Feldmann-Jensen
Original Paper


Earthquake epidemiological research indicates that the behavioural response influences the nature and severity of injuries sustained. However, there is no observational evidence of the actions individuals engage in during and immediately following earthquake shaking, and the context in which earthquake injuries and deaths are caused. Closed Circuit Television Earthquake Behaviour Coding Methodology has been developed as a tool to classify human behaviour during and immediately following earthquake shaking using real event video data. The coding methodology was applied to security video data captured during the 22 February 2011 Mw6.3 ‘Christchurch’ earthquake event from the Christchurch Public Hospital which experienced shaking intensity of MM9 lasting approximately 12–15 s. We applied this coding methodology to determine: demography, trans-event behavioural responses, post-event behavioural responses, influence of social context on behaviour, and influence of behaviour on injuries. A total of 213 individuals from 31 different camera views were analysed. Sixty-six per cent of the individuals were adult-aged females. The primary trans-event responses were to hold (26%) onto furniture, walls, and/or other people close to them and to look around (30%). No individuals were observed to perform all ‘Drop, Cover, Hold’ actions, the recommended action during strong earthquake shaking in New Zealand. Post-event behaviour included: running, walking, providing assistance, moving towards others, visual communication, and some individuals gave instructions. Social contextual behaviour varied depending on the role of the adult. There were no serious injuries linked to behaviour. The results of this initial study indicate the coding methodology can record the distribution of and variation in human behaviours. Therefore, objective observation of earthquake video data can provide a useful quantitative measure of human behaviour. Significantly, the process will enable researchers to look more closely at behaviours, as well as the social and physical contexts associated with injury risk during and immediately following earthquake shaking.


Earthquake Behavioural response Injury risk Protective action recommendations Observational data 



The authors would like to acknowledge the Christchurch Public Hospital for their support of this research. We greatly acknowledge funding support from GNS Science core funding as part of SIH project, the University of Canterbury Natural Hazard Research Platform contract C05X0804, and the University of Canterbury Mason Trust. The authors are grateful for the assistance of: Allison Jolley who performed inter-reliability testing for this research group; Bruce Hall, Christchurch Hospital Emergency Planner who provided detail regarding Christchurch Hospital staff emergency training; and Alan Bavis and Chris Florkowski who provided photographs of the earthquake damage to the Christchurch Hospital used in this manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Emily S. Lambie
    • 1
    • 2
  • Thomas M. Wilson
    • 2
  • Erik Brogt
    • 3
  • David M. Johnston
    • 1
  • Michael Ardagh
    • 4
    • 5
  • Joanne Deely
    • 4
    • 5
  • Steven Jensen
    • 6
  • Shirley Feldmann-Jensen
    • 6
  1. 1.Joint Centre for Disaster ResearchMassey University/GNS ScienceWellingtonNew Zealand
  2. 2.Geological SciencesUniversity of CanterburyChristchurchNew Zealand
  3. 3.Academic Services GroupUniversity of CanterburyChristchurchNew Zealand
  4. 4.University of OtagoChristchurchNew Zealand
  5. 5.Canterbury District Health BoardChristchurchNew Zealand
  6. 6.California State UniversityLong BeachUSA

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