A method for estimating casualties due to the tsunami inundation flow

Shunichi Koshimura, Toshitaka Katada, Harold O. Mofjeld, Yoshiaki Kawata

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


This study develops a method for estimating the number of casualties that may occur while people evacuate from an inundation zone when a tsunami has inundated an area. The method is based on a simple model of hydrodynamic forces as they affect the human body. The method uses a Tsunami casualty index (TCI) computed at each grid point of a numerical tsunami model to determine locations and times within the tsunami inundation zone where evacuation during the tsunami inundation is not possible and therefore where casualties are likely to occur. The locations and times can be combined with information about population density to compute the potential number of casualties. This information is useful in developing tsunami evacuation routes that avoid such locations. To illustrate the method, it is applied to the Seattle waterfront in Washington State, USA, that is under the threat of possible tsunami disasters due to Seattle Fault earthquakes. Preliminary results suggest that the tsunami casualties may occur within the Seattle waterfront for 15 min, during the time interval from 3 to 18 min after a large Seattle Fault tsunami is generated when the background tide level is mean high water.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)265-274
Number of pages10
JournalHandbook of Environmental Chemistry, Volume 5: Water Pollution
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2006 Oct


  • Casualty
  • Evacuation
  • Inundation flow
  • Tsunami

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Water Science and Technology


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