Risk awareness and intended tsunami evacuation behaviour of international tourists in Kamakura City, Japan

Ricardo San Carlos Arce, Motoharu Onuki, Miguel Esteban*, Tomoya Shibayama

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    62 Citations (Scopus)


    The present study focuses on analysing the state of the tsunami risk communication strategies, awareness and intended evacuation behaviour amongst tourists in Kamakura City, Japan. A mixed methodologies approach was utilized, using key informant interviews, site surveys and questionnaire surveys to understand the risk awareness of this transient group of the population. The results of the survey showed a relatively high risk awareness and willingness to evacuate, though there was some confusion regarding the direction of evacuation, mode of transportation, and location of evacuation areas in the city. A majority of respondents stated that they would expect to be warned of a threat by an official warning or announcement, whereas a minority mentioned social cues as a way to understand what to do, possibly thus requiring changes to the city's risk management strategies. In Japan, the concept of tendenko has been getting more attention since the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami, which calls for each individual to immediately initiate evacuation by himself or herself, requiring the trust that other members of the family and community will be doing the same. Based on these findings the authors outlined a number of recommendations to improve disaster risk management for the case of tourists visiting Kamakura city.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)178-192
    Number of pages15
    JournalInternational Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction
    Publication statusPublished - 2017 Aug 1

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
    • Safety Research
    • Geology


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