Conceptual Design of an Earthquake and Tsunami Resistant Building in Sumatra, Indonesia
Geoscientists Without Borders
Tsunami Preparedness Projects
The earthquake and Indian Ocean tsunami of December 26, 2004 left the southwestern coast of Sumatra at the world's highest risk from tsunamis and at significant risk from earthquakes.
Padang, the capital and largest city in West Sumatra Indonesia is considered to have one of the highest tsunami risks in the world due to its high earthquake hazard, vulnerable terrain and population density (more than 800,000 people).
The natural warning in Padang – a strong earthquake that lasts over a minute – will be the first and best indicator of a potential tsunami. People will have only approximately 30 minutes after the shaking stops to reach safe ground. It is estimated that 50,000 inhabitants of Padang will not be able to reach safe ground, even if they leave immediately following the earthquake. Given these circumstances, other evacuation options need to be considered.
Project partners evaluated Padang's tsunami evacuation infrastructure. The pilot project involves geosciences, engineering, political science, and social science aspects to develop a conceptual design for such a structure in Padang Indonesia. The geoscience component includes tsunami modeling and uncertainty in earthquake rupture process.