Title

Household evacuation characteristics in American Samoa during the 2009 Samoa Islands tsunami

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

10-1-2016

Description

Tsunamis represent significant threats to human life and development in coastal communities. This quantitative study examines the influence of household characteristics on evacuation actions taken by 211 respondents in American Samoa who were at their homes during the 29 September 2009 Mw 8.1 Samoa Islands earthquake and tsunami disaster. Multiple logistic regression analysis of survey data was used to examine the association between evacuation and various household factors. Findings show that increases in distance to shoreline were associated with a slightly decreased likelihood of evacuation, whereas households reporting higher income had an increased probability of evacuation. The response in American Samoa was an effective one, with only 34 fatalities in a tsunami that reached shore in as little as 15 minutes. Consequently, future research should implement more qualitative study designs to identify event and cultural specific determinants of household evacuation behaviour to local tsunamis.

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