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Last Mile

The Last Mile-Evacuation research project aims to develop a numerical tsunami early warning and evacuation information system, particularly for the low-lying, coastal city of Padang, Indonesia. The city is severely at risk regarding earthquake-generated tsunamis.

The final report of the research project is published online (in German) and can be found at http://edok01.tib.uni-hannover.de/edoks/e01fb11/659460041.pdf

Time Span

The project has been completed. It was conducted from May 2007 to July 2010.

Key Goals

The vulnerability assessment provides spatial information with regard to social aspects to improve tsunami disaster risk reduction in terms of disaster management efforts and long-term coastal urban spatial planning:

  • Assessment of time-specific distribution of various social groups based on the city’s physical structure and socio-economic characteristics taking into consideration the tsunami-prone areas (dynamic exposure mapping)

  • Assessment of factors that may cause ineffective and delayed evacuation warning response and root causes for a lack of access to effective early warning dissemination

  • Assessment of factors that influence people´s evacuation behaviour such as lack of awareness or knowledge of tsunami risk and preparedness

Working Methods

    In the initial phase, a vulnerability framework containing various vulnerability components was developed based on a literature study on vulnerability concepts, early warning and evacuation behaviour. The vulnerability components were divided in main thematic areas according to the relevant planning purpose and potential end-users such as urban planning, disaster management and community development. This process was done in an iterative manner during the course of the research: Criteria for each vulnerability component were derived by means of a literature study and participatory consultations with the local stakeholders.

    Primary data collection was conducted as a combination of qualitative approaches such as semi-structured interviews, participatory rural appraisal (PRA), as well as Focus Group Discussion (FGD) and quantitative approaches such as questionnaire-based surveys. Secondary data was collected from existing statistical and spatial data provided by authorities and derived from remote sensing analysis. Descriptive and multivariate statistical analysis was employed to test the influence of various variables for each component of the vulnerability of people exposed to tsunami risk. The analysis served as a filtering process to select the final sets of indicators. Spatial analysis using GIS tools was carried out to link the social data with the spatial structure of the city. Finally, thematic aggregated vulnerability maps were produced. The applicability of maps and indicators is validated by means of discussions with the local stakeholders and potential main users.

    The Role of UNU-EHS

    In the scope of the project, UNU-EHS assessed the socio-economic vulnerability by identifying vulnerability factors and the assessment of exposure, susceptibility and coping capacity of population and critical facilities in the city of Padang with regard to tsunami early warning and evacuation. Finally, vulnerability indicators and maps were developed as planning tools for the city. Also, recommendations for planning evacuation infrastructures and community preparedness strategies were derived.

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Partner Organizations

Please click here to get to a complete list of the project partners.

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