Classification of Tsunami and Evacuation Areas

Tomoya Shibayama, Miguel Esteban, Ioan Nistor*, Hiroshi Takagi, Nguyen Danh Thao, Ryo Matsumaru, Takahito Mikami, Rafael Aranguiz, Ravindra Jayaratne, Koichiro Ohira

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

68 Citations (Scopus)


On March 11, 2011, a large earthquake that occurred offshore the north-east coast of Japan generated a large tsunami which devastated extensive areas of the Tohoku coastline. Despite Japan being considered a country well prepared for these types of disasters, large casualties were recorded, with numerous discussions amongst the Japanese coastal engineering community ensuing. As a result, two different levels of tsunamis have been proposed and now recognized in Japan, depending on the frequency of such extreme events. The idea that hard measures can protect the lives of inhabitants of coastal areas has been abandoned, and these measures are only considered to be effective in protecting properties against the more frequent but lower magnitude events. Soft measures should always be used to protect against the loss of lives, and to this respect, the authors of the paper propose the introduction of a Classification of Evacuation Areas, to show which of these should be prioritized by residents as they seek to evacuate.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)365-386
Number of pages22
JournalNatural Hazards
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Jun


  • 2011 Japan Tohoku tsunami
  • Evacuation Areas
  • Post-tsunami field surveys
  • Tsunami awareness
  • Tsunamis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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