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Quicker Safer Tsunami Evacuations


  • Tue 29 Aug 2023, 6:30pm–8:00pm


All Ages


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Napier communities are invited to help researchers and scientists improve their computer-based tsunami evacuation models of Napier to make tsunami evacuations easier, safer and quicker.

The models, developed by scientists from GNS Science, simulate the movement of people across all of Napier who have self-evacuated following a long or strong earthquake that could have caused a large tsunami.

Dr William Power, a tsunami modeller at GNS Science, said the evacuation model of Napier was one of the first to cover an entire city in New Zealand.

The evacuation models show where congestion may occur and how long it would take people to evacuate if they left immediately following a long or strong earthquake.

“We have modelled evacuations on foot and are extending the models to also include cars. We are also using them to understand how evacuations might be affected by future population growth,” Dr Power said.

The workshop will be held on Tuesday, 29 August from 6.30pm to 8pm at McLean Park in the Chapman Pavilion Pettigrew Lounge 1.

Participants will be asked to help identify what the current challenges are for evacuations, and they will also be asked to identify ways they think tsunami evacuations could be made easier, safer and quicker.

“We are keen to receive feedback from the local community on the work done so far, and to understand what people would like to see modelled next, and that’s where these workshops come in.”

“These models we create can later be used by Civil Defence Emergency Management, the Council and community to help plan how we can make tsunami evacuations in Napier quicker and safer,” said Dr Power.

Emergency managers from the Hawke’s Bay Civil Defence Emergency Management Group will be available during the workshops to answer questions about tsunami preparedness and planning.

“It’sreally important that everyone knows the natural warning signs of a tsunami, as this may be the only warning we receive to evacuate to high ground or inland“says Adam Childs, Team Leader for Risk Reduction at Hawke’s Bay Civil Defence Emergency Management Group.

This research is part of a three-year project called ‘Agent models of tsunami evacuation behaviour to improve planning and preparedness’ funded by the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment Endeavour Fund.

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