Human response to earthquake shaking : analysis of video footage of the 2010-2011 Canterbury earthquake sequence.
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Science
Research on human behaviour during earthquake shaking has identified three main influences of behaviour: the environment the individual is located immediately before and during the earthquake, in terms of where the individual is and who the individual is with at the time of the earthquake; individual characteristics, such as age, gender, previous earthquake experience, and the intensity and duration of earthquake shaking. However, little research to date has systematically analysed the immediate observable human responses to earthquake shaking, mostly due to data constraints and/or ethical considerations. Research on human behaviour during earthquakes has relied on simulations or post-event, reflective interviews and questionnaire studies, often performed weeks to months or even years following the event. Such studies are therefore subject to limitations such as the quality of the participant's memory or (perceived) realism of a simulation. The aim of this research was to develop a robust coding scheme to analyse human behaviour during earthquake shaking using video footage captured during an earthquake event. This will allow systematic analysis of individuals during real earthquakes using a previously unutilized data source, thus help develop guidance on appropriate protective actions. The coding scheme was developed in a two-part process, combining a deductive and inductive approach. Previous research studies of human behavioral response during earthquake shaking provided the basis for the coding scheme. This was then iteratively refined by applying the coding scheme to a broad range of video footage of people exposed to strong shaking during the Canterbury earthquake sequence. The aim of this was to optimise coding scheme content and application across a broad range of scenarios, and to increase inter-coder reliability. The methodology to code data will enhance objective observation of video footage to allow cross-event analysis and explore (among others): reaction time, patterns of behaviour, and social, environmental and situational influences of behaviour. This can provide guidance for building configuration and design, and evidence-based recommendations for public education about injury-preventing behavioural responses during earthquake shaking.