Intended evacuation behaviour in a local earthquake and tsunami at Napier, New Zealand

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Fraser, S.A.; Leonard, G.S.; Johnston, D.M. 2013 Intended evacuation behaviour in a local earthquake and tsunami at Napier, New Zealand. Lower Hutt, N.Z.: GNS Science. GNS Science report 2013/26 55 p.

Abstract: We conducted surveys of 136 residents of and visitors to Napier, Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand, to understand hazard awareness and intended evacuation behaviour in a hypothetical local earthquake and tsunami. The results provide a unique investigation of evacuation intentions in the context of local tsunami hazard in New Zealand. The data support observations from previous surveys and international literature, and provide new data on intended evacuation destinations, travel mode and opinions of tsunami vertical evacuation buildings. There were high levels of recall of hazard information among residents in Napier and although the results suggest a low level of information provision to visitors by the tourist industry, there is a high level of tsunami hazard awareness among both groups. There is a reasonably good understanding of potential tsunami arrival times, but an expectation that official tsunami warnings will be given via sirens or TV/radio in the case of local tsunami. Intended behaviour suggests that ground shaking might trigger appropriate earthquake response actions but people may not extend their actions to include appropriate tsunami evacuation response. Location at the time of the earthquake and gender influence respondents’ intention to evacuate and their intended travel mode. A moderate proportion of respondents stated that they would evacuate to high ground and some respondents identified their home or prominent locations in the city as intended evacuation destinations, despite those locations being within the tsunami hazard zone. Respondents were receptive to vertical evacuation as an alternative to high ground, but generally consider it a last resort and expressed concern about structural integrity and sufficient height. (auth)