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Tsunami evacuation model for Sumner, Christchurch


This research develops a computer model that simulates how residents move out of the tsunami evacuation zone in Sumner, Christchurch, to help understand evacuation logistics and inform evacuation plans. The model uses census population data and daily activity patterns for Sumner, in combination with the maximum likely inundation area of a South American tsunami.

Three ‘extreme’ scenarios were used to assess evacuation times for possible evacuation methods: 1) all people walking to 20 metres elevation, 2) all people walking to bus stops for evacuation using public transport, and 3) all people evacuated using private vehicles. The results can be used to make a rapid assessment of optimal evacuation directions from different evacuation areas.


Emergency management relevance

This research looks at how people evacuate during a tsunami event and can be used to help develop tsunami evacuation plans and routes, and community response plans. While the research focuses on Sumner, Christchurch, the methods can be applied to other locations and hazards.


Additional information

Authors: Lina Le

Date: 2016

Funders: Mason Trust Fund, NZAID

Format: Master of Science thesis - University of Canterbury

Reference: Le, L. (2016). Tsunami evacuation model for Sumner, Christchurch, New Zealand: A thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Hazard and Disaster Management at the University of Canterbury, Department of Geological Sciences