Assessing the evacuation capacity of remote rural communities highly exposed to tsunami hazard: A case study of Wairarapa coastal communities (2020)
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Recent tsunami events around the world have produced devastating widespread impacts including large scale loss of life, displacement of coastal populations and economic disruption. In particular, the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami and the 2011 Tohoku tsunami caused increased urgency globally for further research and understanding of the likelihood and consequences of such events occurring elsewhere. New Zealand is a tectonically active island country; thus, it is highly exposed to tsunami hazard across its entire coastline, particularly on the east coast. Wairarapa, located on the lower east coast of the North Island in New Zealand is regarded as being a very high-risk area for tsunami. We undertook a preliminary study consisting of a tsunami exposure assessment to inform network-based vehicular evacuation modelling for a case study coastal area in the Wairarapa, Riversdale Beach. The findings revealed the potential for significant challenges in the evacuation procedure for Wairarapa coastal settlements due to a significant influx of visitors during the summer holiday period. This study aims to build on the preliminary research by using community engagement techniques to inform an agent-based evacuation model for Wairarapa and assess the overall evacuation capacity of the area. The research will fill a gap in tsunami literature both nationally and globally by using Wairarapa as a case study for assessing the evacuation capacity of remote rural communities which are highly exposed to tsunami hazard.
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