Natural Hazards

, Volume 67, Issue 2, pp 365–386 | Cite as

Classification of Tsunami and Evacuation Areas

  • Tomoya Shibayama
  • Miguel Esteban
  • Ioan Nistor
  • Hiroshi Takagi
  • Nguyen Danh Thao
  • Ryo Matsumaru
  • Takahito Mikami
  • Rafael Aranguiz
  • Ravindra Jayaratne
  • Koichiro Ohira
Original Paper


On March 11, 2011, a large earthquake that occurred offshore the north-east coast of Japan generated a large tsunami which devastated extensive areas of the Tohoku coastline. Despite Japan being considered a country well prepared for these types of disasters, large casualties were recorded, with numerous discussions amongst the Japanese coastal engineering community ensuing. As a result, two different levels of tsunamis have been proposed and now recognized in Japan, depending on the frequency of such extreme events. The idea that hard measures can protect the lives of inhabitants of coastal areas has been abandoned, and these measures are only considered to be effective in protecting properties against the more frequent but lower magnitude events. Soft measures should always be used to protect against the loss of lives, and to this respect, the authors of the paper propose the introduction of a Classification of Evacuation Areas, to show which of these should be prioritized by residents as they seek to evacuate.


Tsunamis Evacuation Areas Tsunami awareness Post-tsunami field surveys 2011 Japan Tohoku tsunami 



The authors would like to acknowledge the kind financial contribution of the “Disaster Analysis and Proposal for Rehabilitation Process for the Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami” Institute for Research on Reconstruction from the Great East Japan Earthquake/Composed Crisis Research Institute from Waseda University Research Initiatives. Two anonymous reviewers also provided comments that helped improve the quality of the paper, and their help is kindly appreciated.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tomoya Shibayama
    • 1
  • Miguel Esteban
    • 1
  • Ioan Nistor
    • 2
  • Hiroshi Takagi
    • 3
  • Nguyen Danh Thao
    • 4
  • Ryo Matsumaru
    • 5
  • Takahito Mikami
    • 1
  • Rafael Aranguiz
    • 6
  • Ravindra Jayaratne
    • 7
  • Koichiro Ohira
    • 1
  1. 1.Waseda UniversityShinjukuJapan
  2. 2.University of OttawaOttawaCanada
  3. 3.Tokyo Institute of TechnologyYokohamaJapan
  4. 4.Ho Chi Minh City University of TechnologyHo Chi Minh CityVietnam
  5. 5.IRM LtdKasuya Setagaya-kuJapan
  6. 6.Universidad Catolica de la Ssma ConcepciónConcepciónChile
  7. 7.University of East LondonLondonUK

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