Tsunami knowledge, information sources, and evacuation intentions among tourists in Bali, Indonesia

  • Sarah HallEmail author
  • Chad Emmett
  • Amelia Cope
  • Ron Harris
  • Gilang Damar Setiadi
  • William Meservy
  • Bryce Berrett


Bali is highly susceptible to earthquake-generated tsunamis. The island attracts millions of visitors each year, yet little is known about tourists’ tsunami information sources prior to and while visiting Indonesia, perceived causes of tsunamis, perceptions of tsunami evacuation windows, and evacuation intentions. We created inundation maps for high-tourist areas of Bali, conducted multiple-choice surveys of tourists in English, Japanese, and Chinese, conducted informal interviews of hotel and government officials, and assessed topography of high tourist areas for safe evacuation sites. 75.3% of tourists reported that they had not learned about tsunamis while traveling in Indonesia. 24.3% had not learned about tsunamis prior to traveling to Indonesia. 84.2% recognized that tsunami events could be triggered by earthquakes; however many incorrectly attributed tsunami causes to events such as storms (24.7%), climate change (22.0%), and lunar gravitational pull (12.8%). Although our numerical model showed a 15–20 min evacuation window after earth shaking, 42.1% of tourists believed they would have more than 30 min to evacuate. Most participants reported intentions to run uphill (85.5%), inland (42.8%) or up the stairs of a tall building (34.2%). There is increased opportunity for government and tourism providers to disseminate knowledge of tsunami natural warning signs and specific evacuation instructions at airports, hotels, beaches, and tourism websites. Due to Bali’s topography, these educational efforts may not be effective unless additional Temporary Evacuation Shelters are built in high tourist areas lacking hills. Additional disaster mitigation recommendations are provided.


Disaster mitigation Coastal tourism Natural hazards Tsunami Emergency preparedness 



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© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Public and Community HealthUtah Valley UniversityOremUSA
  2. 2.Department of GeographyBrigham Young UniversityProvoUSA
  3. 3.Department of Social WorkUtah Valley UniversityOremUSA
  4. 4.Department of GeologyBrigham Young UniversityProvoUSA
  5. 5.Center for Disaster Research, Education, and ManagementUPN Veteran YogyakartaDepokIndonesia

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