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Volume 18, issue 7 | Copyright
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 18, 2027-2039, 2018
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-18-2027-2018
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 26 Jul 2018

Research article | 26 Jul 2018

Identification and classification of urban micro-vulnerabilities in tsunami evacuation routes for the city of Iquique, Chile

Gonzalo Álvarez1,3, Marco Quiroz1,3, Jorge León2,3, and Rodrigo Cienfuegos1,3 Gonzalo Álvarez et al.
  • 1Departamento de Ingeniería Hidráulica y Ambiental, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago 7820436, Chile
  • 2Departamento de Arquitectura, Universidad Técnica Federico Santa María, Valparaíso 2390123, Chile
  • 3Centro de Investigación para la Gestión Integrada del Riesgo de Desastres (CIGIDEN), CONICYT/FONDAP/15110017, Santiago 7820436, Chile

Abstract. Many coastal cities around the world are threatened by tsunamis; some of these events have caused great impacts in recent times. The loss of human lives during these events is the main cause of concern of the authorities, and evacuation planning has been recognized as one of the best tools for safeguarding the population. In this context, urban design appears to be critical for the execution of prompt and efficient evacuation processes to safe areas; however, evacuation assessment has been traditionally carried out at a large urban scale, mostly taking into consideration urban morphology and connectivity. In the present work, urban spaces available for tsunami evacuation are explored in detail by developing a methodology to identify and classify urban micro-vulnerabilities that may reduce the capacity of the evacuation routes and hinder evacuees' safety. The method is applied to the Chilean city of Iquique, affected by an earthquake and subsequent tsunami in 2014.

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Evacuation planning has been recognized as one of the best tools for safeguarding the population against tsunami hazards. In this work we develop a novel methodology to identify and classify urban micro-vulnerabilities that may difficult pedestrian evacuation processes resulting from problems in urban design or informal uses of the public space. The correct identification and correction of these issues could make the difference in saving lives when the available time for evacuation is short.
Evacuation planning has been recognized as one of the best tools for safeguarding the population...
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