Models for evacuation procedures in big cities after massive earthquakes

Nov 26, 2012
Models for evacuation procedures in big cities after massive earthquakes
Risk of fire and spatiotemporal distribution of stranded people after the earthquake.

Tokyo Tech's Toshihiro Osaragi and colleagues report on models for evacuation procedures in big cities after massive earthquakes based on the behavior of people in Tokyo after the Tohoku-Pacific Ocean Earthquake on 11 March 2011. The details are also described in the November issue of Tokyo Institute of Technology Bulletin: http://www.titech.ac.jp/bulletin/index.html

The - Earthquake occurred on 11 May 2011. On this day all rail services in the Tokyo Metropolitan area were paralyzed amid the unprecedented confusion that followed the tremor.

Thousands people were unable to contact families and friends, and in a state of uneasiness, many decided to return home on foot. Main roads were heavily congested with both cars and people, a state which severely obstructed the movement of emergency vehicles.

Here, Toshihiro Osaragi at Tokyo Institute of Technology describes the construction of several models that describe decision-making and behavior of individuals attempting to reach home on foot in the wake of a .

He has simulated the movement of individuals who have decided to return home on foot, and demonstrates the spatiotemporal distribution of those who might be exposed to hazardous city fires on their way home in the aftermath of a , which has been predicted to occur in the Tokyo in near future.

Osaragi research underscores the importance of considering pedestrian flow under such extreme scenarios in order to establish emergency evacuation procedures. "Using the model proposed, we can assess not only the potential number of stranded individuals, but also their detailed attributes," says Osaragi. "Such information would undoubtedly prove helpful in actual planning for immediate post-disaster mitigation."

Explore further: Scientists stalk coastal killer

More information: Osaragi, T. Modeling a spatiotemporal distribution of stranded people returning home on foot in the aftermath of a large-scale earthquake, Natural Hazards, Springer, (2012). DOI: 10.1007/s11069-012-0175-8

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Geological evidence for past earthquakes in Tokyo region

Jan 31, 2012

In 1923, a magnitude 7.9 earthquake devastated the Tokyo area, resulting in more than 100,000 deaths. About 200 years earlier, in 1703, a magnitude 8.2 earthquake struck the same region, causing more than 10,000 deaths.

Tokyo mega-quake 'would kill over 9,000'

Apr 18, 2012

More than 9,600 people would die with nearly 150,000 injured if a mega-quake struck Tokyo, a disaster that would also level large parts of the Japanese capital, a government projection said Wednesday.

Tokyo prepares for the 'Big One'

Oct 25, 2012

Seen from atop the towering Tokyo Sky Tree, the patchwork of narrow alleyways and ramshackle houses that make up Tokyo's Sumida district is a picturesque throwback to the Japan of yesteryear.

Japan's Hamaoka atomic plant to build huge seawall

Jul 22, 2011

Chubu Electric said Friday it will build an 18-metre (60 foot) anti-tsunami seawall to protect its ageing Hamaoka nuclear plant located near a faultline in a region seen as vulnerable to earthquakes.

Japan experts warn of future risk of giant tsunami

Apr 01, 2012

(AP) -- Much of Japan's Pacific coast could be inundated by a tsunami more than 34 meters (112 feet) high if a powerful earthquake hits offshore, according to revised estimates by a government panel.

Recommended for you

Tropical Storm Genevieve forms in Eastern Pacific

3 hours ago

The seventh tropical depression of the Eastern Pacific Ocean formed and quickly ramped up to a tropical storm named "Genevieve." NOAA's GOES-West satellite captured an infrared image of the newborn storm ...

NASA maps Typhoon Matmo's Taiwan deluge

6 hours ago

When Typhoon Matmo crossed over the island nation of Taiwan it left tremendous amounts of rainfall in its wake. NASA used data from the TRMM satellite to calculate just how much rain fell over the nation.

User comments : 0