Community variations in population exposure to near-field tsunami hazards as a function of pedestrian travel time to safety

Abstract

Efforts to characterize population exposure to near-field tsunami threats typically focus on quantifying the number and type of people in tsunami-hazard zones. To develop and prioritize effective risk-reduction strategies, emergency managers also need information on the potential for successful evacuations and how this evacuation potential varies among communities. To improve efforts to properly characterize and differentiate near-field tsunami threats among multiple communities, we assess community variations in population exposure to tsunamis as a function of pedestrian travel time to safety. We focus our efforts on the multiple coastal communities in Grays Harbor and Pacific Counties (State of Washington, USA), where a substantial resident and visitor population is threatened by near-field tsunamis related to a potential Cascadia subduction zone earthquake. Anisotropic, path distance modeling is conducted to estimate travel times to safety, and results are merged with various population data, including residents, employees, public venues, and dependent-care facilities. Results suggest that there is substantial variability among communities in the number of people that may have insufficient time to evacuate. Successful evacuations may be possible in some communities assuming slow walking speeds, are plausible in others if travel speeds are increased, and are unlikely in another set of communities given the large distances and short time horizon. Emergency managers can use these results to prioritize the location and determine the most appropriate type of tsunami risk-reduction strategies, such as education and training in areas where evacuations are plausible and vertical-evacuation structures in areas where they are not.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5
Fig. 6
Fig. 7
Fig. 8
Fig. 9
Fig. 10

References

  1. Averill J, Mileti D, Peacock R, Kuligowski E, Groner N, Proulx G, Reneke P, Nelson H (2005) Occupant behavior, egress, and emergency communications—federal building and fire safety investigation of the world trade center disaster. National Institute of Standards and Technology National Construction Safety Team Act Report 1–7

  2. Brooks N (2003) Vulnerability, risk and adaptation—a conceptual framework. Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research Working Paper 38. Available at tyndall.ac.uk/sites/default/files/wp38.pdf. Accessed 10 August 2012

  3. Cascadia Region Earthquake Workgroup (2005) Cascadia subduction zone earthquakes—a magnitude 9.0 earthquake scenario. Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries, Portland

  4. CloudMade (2011) Washington.shapefiles.zip. Available at http://downloads.cloudmade.com/americas/northern_america/united_states/washington#downloads_breadcrumbs. Accessed 12 Oct 2011

  5. Cutter S (2003) The vulnerability of science and the science of vulnerability. Ann As Am Geogr 93(1):1–12

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Cutter S, Boruff B, Shirley W (2003) Social vulnerability to environmental hazards. Social Sci Q 84(2):242–261

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Dall’Osso F, Cavalletti A, Polo P (2006) Risk assessment and evaluation ArcGIS Toolbox user’s manual, CRATER Coastal Risk Analysis of Tsunamis and Environmental Remediation. Italian Ministry for the Environment and Territory, Rome, Italy and Asian Disaster Preparedness Center, Pathumthani

    Google Scholar 

  8. Engstfeld A, Killebrew K, Scott C, Wiser J, Freitag B, El-Anwar O (2010) Tsunami safe haven project—report for Long Beach. Department of Urban Design and Planning, College of Built Environments, University of Washington, Washington

    Google Scholar 

  9. Franzese O, Sorenson D (2004) Fast deployable system for consequence management—the emergency evacuation component. Proceedings of the ITS Safety and Security conference, Orlando, FL, 13 p

    Google Scholar 

  10. Goldfinger C, Nelson C, Morey A, Johnson J, Patton J, Karabanov E, Gutiérrez-Pastor J, Eriksson A, Gràcia E, Dunhill G, Enkin R, Dallimore A, Vallier T (2012) Turbidite event history—methods and implications for Holocene paleoseismicity of the Cascadia subduction zone. U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1661–F

  11. Graehl N (2009) Using a GIS to model pedestrian evacuation times for Newport, OR. Unpublished research, Humbolt State University, California

  12. Grays Harbor County (2011) GIS data download. Available at http://www.ghc-gis.org/info/GIS/download.html. Accessed 12 Feb 2012

  13. Hewitt K (1997) Regions of risk–a geographical introduction to disasters. Addison Wesley Longman, Essex

    Google Scholar 

  14. InfoUSA (2011) Employer database. Available via http://www.infousagov.com/employer.asp. Accessed 1 Oct 2011

  15. Jonkmann S, Vrijling J, Vrouwenvelder A (2008) Methods for the estimation of loss of life due to floods: a literature review and a proposal for a new method. Nat Hazards 46:353–389

    Article  Google Scholar 

  16. Knoblauch R, Pietrucha M, Nitzburg M (1995) Field studies of pedestrian walking speed and start-up time. In: Transportation research record, no. 1538, TRB, National Research Council, Washington, DC, pp 27–38

  17. Lander J, Lockridge P (1989) United States tsunamis (including United States possessions) 1690–1988. U.S. Department of Commerce, National Geophysical Data Center, Boulder, Colorado, Publication 41–2

  18. Langlois J, Keyl P, Guralnik J, Foley D, Marottoli R, Wallace R (1997) Characteristics of older pedestrians who have difficulty crossing the street. Am J Pub Health 87:393–397

    Article  Google Scholar 

  19. MarathonGuide.com (2011) Boston marathon race results 2010, Available at http://www.marathonguide.com/results/browse.cfm?MIDD=15100419. Accessed 8 March 2011

  20. Marrero J, Garcia A, Llinares A, Rodrıguez-Losada J, Ortiz R (2010) The variable scale evacuation model (VSEM)—a new tool for simulating massive evacuation processes during volcanic crises. Nat Hazards Earth Syst Sci 10:747–760

    Article  Google Scholar 

  21. Mileti D (1999) Disasters by design–a reassessment of natural hazards in the United States: Washington. Joseph Henry Press, DC

    Google Scholar 

  22. Mileti D, Sorenson D (1990) Communication of emergency public warnings–a social science perspective and state-of-the-art assessment. Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge

    Google Scholar 

  23. Miller M, Paton D, Johnston D (1999) Community vulnerability to volcanic hazard consequences. Disaster Prev Manag 8(4):255–260

    Article  Google Scholar 

  24. Morgan J (1984) A tsunami avoidable susceptibility index. Sci Tsunami Hazards 2(1):3–12

    Google Scholar 

  25. Morrow B (1999) Identifying and mapping community vulnerability. Disasters 23(1):1–18

    Article  Google Scholar 

  26. National Research Council (1996) Understanding risk—informing decisions in a democratic society. Committee on risk characterization, commission on behavioral and social sciences and education. The National Academies Press, Washington, DC

  27. National Research Council (2007) Tools and Methods for Estimating Populations at Risk from Natural Disasters and ComplexHumanitarian Crises. The National Academies Press, Washington, DC

    Google Scholar 

  28. National Research Council (2011) Tsunami warning and preparedness: an assessment of the US Tsunami Program and the Nation’s preparedness efforts, Committee on the review of the tsunami warning and forecast system and overview of the nation’s tsunami preparedness. The National Academies Press, Washington, DC

  29. National Tsunami Hazard Mitigation Program (2012) About the national tsunami hazard mitigation program. Available at http://nthmp.tsunami.gov/about_program.html, Accessed 17 Sep 2012

  30. NOAA National Geophysical Data Center/World Data Center (2012) Global historical tsunami database. Available at http://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/hazard/tsu_db.shtml. Accessed 28 Jan 2012

  31. Ohno R, Isagawa T (2012) How do coastal residents behave after a big earthquake—a questionnaire survey after the Great East Japan earthquake at Onjuku, Chiba Prefecture. In: Joint conference proceedings of the 9th international conference on urban earthquake engineering and the 4th Asia conference on earthquake engineering, Tokyo, Japan

  32. Pacific County Department of Public Works (2011) Spatial data. Available at http://www.co.pacific.wa.us/gis/DesktopGIS/WEB/index.html. Accessed 1 Nov 2011

  33. Papathoma M, Dominey-Howes D, Zong Y, Smith D (2003) Assessing tsunami vulnerability, an example from Herakleio, Crete. Nat Hazards Earth Syst Sci 3(5):377–389

    Article  Google Scholar 

  34. Paton D, Houghton B, Gregg C, Gill D, Ritchie L, McIvor D, Larin P, Meinhold S, Horan J, Johnston D (2008) Managing tsunami risk in coastal communities—identifying predictors of preparedness. Austr J Emerg Manag 23(1):4–9

    Google Scholar 

  35. Polsky C, Neff R, Yarnal B (2007) Building comparable global change vulnerability assessments–the vulnerability scoping diagram. Glob Environ Change 17:472–485

    Article  Google Scholar 

  36. Post J, Wegscheider S, Muck M, Zosseder K, Kiefl R, Steinmetz T, Strunz G (2009) Assessment of human immediate response capability related to tsunami threats in Indonesia at a sub-national scale. Nat Hazards Earth Syst Sci 9:1075–1086

    Article  Google Scholar 

  37. Priest G, Myers III E, Baptista A, Fleuck P, Wang K, Kamphaus R, Peterson C (1997) Cascadia subduction zone tsunamis—hazard mapping at Yaquina Bay, Oregon. Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries Open-File Report O-97-34, 144 p

  38. Slovic P (2002) The perception of risk. Earthscan Publications, Ltd, London

    Google Scholar 

  39. Smit B, Wandel J (2006) Adaptation, adaptive capacity and vulnerability. Glob Environ Change 16:282–292

    Article  Google Scholar 

  40. Soule R, Goldman R (1972) Terrain coefficients for energy cost prediction. J Appl Physiol 32:706–708

    Google Scholar 

  41. Sumaryono S, Strunz G, Post J, Zosseder K, Ludwig R (2008) Spatial measuring urban vulnerability to tsunami hazards using integrative remote sensing and GIS approaches. In: Proceedings of the international conference on tsunami warning, 12–14 Nov 2008, Bali, Indonesia

  42. Taubenbock H, Post J, Kiefl R, Roth A, Ismail F, Strunz G, Dech S (2008) Risk and vulnerability assessment to tsunami hazard using very high resolution satellite data. In: Carsten J (ed) Remote sensing—new challenges of high resolution

  43. Tierney K, Lindell M, Perry R (2001) Facing the unexpected. Joseph Henry Press, London

  44. Tobler W (1993) Three presentations on geographical analysis and modeling—non-isotropic geographic modeling. Speculations on the geometry of geography; and global spatial analysis. UCSB. National Center for Geographic Information and Analysis Technical Report 93-1. Available at http://www.ncgia.ucsb.edu/Publications/Tech_Reports/93/93-1.PDF. Accessed 19 July 2010

  45. Turner B, Kasperson R, Matson P, McCarthy J, Corell R, Christensen L, Eckley N, Kasperson J, Luers A, Martello M, Polsky C, Pulsipher A, Schiller A (2003) A framework for vulnerability analysis in sustainability science. Proc Nat Acad Sci 100(14):8074–8079

    Article  Google Scholar 

  46. United States Census Bureau (2011) American FactFinder. Available at http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/nav/jsf/pages/index.xhtml. Accessed 1 May 2011

  47. United States Department of Agriculture (2009) Geospatial data gateway. Available at http://datagateway.nrcs.usda.gov/. Accessed 1 Feb 2011

  48. United States Department of Transportation (2009) Manual on uniform traffic control devices for streets and highways. Federal Highway Administration

  49. Walsh T, Caruthers C, Heinitz A, Myers III E, Baptista A, Erdakos G, Kamphaus R (2000) Tsunami hazard map of the southern Washington coast—modeled tsunami inundation from a Cascadia subduction zone earthquake. Washington Department of Natural Resources Division of Geology and Earth Resources Geologic Map GM-49

  50. Washington Division of Geology and Earth Resources (2008) Tsunami inundation zones in Washington State, Version 1.0. Available at http://www.dnr.wa.gov/ResearchScience/Pages/PubData.aspx/. Accessed 16 Aug 2010

  51. Washington Military Department Emergency Management Division (2012) Tsunamis. Available at http://www.emd.wa.gov/hazards/haz_tsunami.shtml. Accessed 17 Sep 2012

  52. Washington Office of Financial Management (2012) Census geographic files. Available at http://www.ofm.wa.gov/pop/geographic/tiger.asp. Accessed 12 Feb 2012

  53. WatershedSciences (2010) LIDAR remote sensing data collection. Available at http://pugetsoundlidar.ess.washington.edu/lidardata/restricted/nonpslc/swwash2009/swwash2009.html. Accessed 7 Aug 2011

  54. Wisner B, Blaikie P, Cannon T, Davis I (2004) At risk–natural hazards, people’s vulnerability and disasters, 2nd edn. Routledge, New York

    Google Scholar 

  55. Wood N (2011) Understanding risk and resilience to natural hazards. U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2011-3008

  56. Wood N, Good J (2004) Vulnerability of a port and harbor community to earthquake and tsunami hazards: the use of GIS in community hazard planning. Coast Manag 32(3):243–269

    Article  Google Scholar 

  57. Wood N, Schmidtlein M (2012) Anisotropic path modeling to assess pedestrian-evacuation potential from Cascadia-related tsunamis in the U.S. Pacific Northwest. Nat Hazards 62(2):275–300

    Article  Google Scholar 

  58. Wood N, Soulard C (2008) Variations in community exposure to tsunami hazards on the open-ocean and strait of Juan de Fuca coasts of Washington. USGS Scientific Investigations Report 2008-5004

  59. Wood N, Burton C, Cutter S (2010) Community variations in social vulnerability to Cascadia-related tsunamis in the U.S. Pacific Northwest. Nat Hazards 52(2):369–389

    Article  Google Scholar 

  60. Wood M, Mileti D, Kano M, Kelly M, Regan R, Bourque L (2011) Communicating actionable risk for terrorism and other hazards. Risk Anal 32(4):601–615

    Article  Google Scholar 

  61. Yeh H, Fiez T, Karon J (2009) A comprehensive tsunami simulator for long beach peninsula phase-1—framework development final report. State of Washington Military Department Emergency Management Division

Download references

Acknowledgments

This study was supported by the US Geological Survey (USGS) Geographic Analysis and Monitoring Program. We thank Susan Benjamin, Ronald Kirby, and Mara Tongue of the USGS, John Schelling of the State of Washington Military Department Emergency Management Division, and two anonymous reviewers for their insightful reviews of earlier versions of the article. Any use of trade, product, or firm names is for descriptive purposes only and does not imply endorsement by the US Government.

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Nathan J. Wood.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Wood, N.J., Schmidtlein, M.C. Community variations in population exposure to near-field tsunami hazards as a function of pedestrian travel time to safety. Nat Hazards 65, 1603–1628 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11069-012-0434-8

Download citation

Keywords

  • Tsunami
  • Evacuation
  • Path distance
  • Modeling
  • Pedestrian
  • Cascadia