A method for tsunami risk assessment: a case study for Kamakura, Japan

Non Okumura*, Sebastiaan N. Jonkman, Miguel Esteban, Bas Hofland, Tomoya Shibayama

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


This paper presents a methodology for tsunami risk assessment, which was applied to a case study in Kamakura, Japan. This methodology was developed in order to evaluate the effectiveness of a risk-reducing system against such hazards, also aiming to demonstrate that a risk assessment is possible for these episodic events. The tsunami risk assessment follows these general steps: (1) determination of the probability of flooding, (2) calculation of flood scenarios, (3) assessment of the consequences and (4) integration into a risk number or graph. The probability of flooding was approximated based on the data provided by local institutes, and the flood scenarios were modeled in 1D using the Simulating WAves till SHore model. Results showed that a tsunami in Kamakura can result in thousands of casualties. Interventions such as improvements in evacuation systems, which would directly reduce the number of casualties, would have a large influence in risk reduction. Although this method has its limits and constraints, it illustrates the value it can add to existing tsunami risk management in Japan.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1451-1472
Number of pages22
JournalNatural Hazards
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Sept 1


  • Kamakura
  • Probability of flooding
  • Risk-reduction interventions
  • Run-up and inundation scenarios
  • Tsunami risk assessment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)


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