Tsunami awareness and evacuation behaviour during the 2018 Sulawesi Earthquake tsunami

Anisa Shafiyya Harnantyari, Tomoyuki Takabatake*, Miguel Esteban, Paolo Valenzuela, Yuta Nishida, Tomoya Shibayama, Hendra Achiari, Rusli, Abdul Gafur Marzuki, Muhammad Fadel Hidayat Marzuki, Rafael Aránguiz, Thit Oo Kyaw

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Citations (Scopus)


On September 28, 2018 significant tsunami waves, which are considered to have been generated by submarine landslides, struck the shorelines of Central Sulawesi, Indonesia. One month after the event, the authors conducted a questionnaire survey of the affected areas (Donggala Regency and Palu City) to collect information on the evacuation behaviour and tsunami awareness of local residents. In the present study, in addition to summarising the overall trend of the survey results using descriptive statistics, a chi-squared test was applied to analyse the significance of the relationship between tsunami awareness and evacuation behaviour and the demographic characteristics of respondents. The analysis of the results demonstrates that although the respondents generally have a high level of tsunami awareness, younger people and Donggala Regency residents have an overall lower understanding of the phenomenon. It was also found that 82.5% of the population evacuated after witnessing others evacuating during the event. As there was no official warning to residents before the arrival of the tsunami, this social trigger played a significant role in prompting evacuation and decreasing the number of casualties. The present study also revealed that many people faced congestion while evacuating (especially in Palu City). This highlights the need to introduce additional tsunami disaster mitigation strategies to ensure that all residents can swiftly evacuate during such incidents.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101389
JournalInternational Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Feb


  • Awareness
  • Evacuation
  • Palu
  • Preparedness
  • Statistical analysis
  • Tsunami

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Safety Research
  • Geology


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