Tsunami hazard and casualty estimation in a coastal area that neighbors the Indian Ocean and South China Sea

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25 Citations (Scopus)


In the Indian Ocean and the South China Sea, many hundreds of thousands of lives have been lost due to tsunami events, and almost half of the lives lost occurred following the 2004 Indian Ocean event. Potential tsunami case scenarios have been simulated in these regions by a number of researchers to calculate the hazard level. The hazard level is based on a variety of conditions, such as the tsunami height, the inundation area, and the arrival time. However, the current assessments of the hazard levels do not focus on the tsunami risk to a coastal population. This study proposes a new method to quantify the risk to the coastal population in the region that includes the Indian Ocean and the South China Sea. The method is simple and combines the use of readily available tsunami data, far-field tsunami simulation models to determine the regional risk and global population data. An earthquake-generated tsunami was simulated, following an earthquake that had a magnitude larger than 8.5 M w and occurred along a potential subduction zone. The 2004 Indian Ocean event seemed to be a "worst case scenario"; however, it has been estimated that a potential tsunami, occurring in a coastal region with a high population density, could cause significantly greater casualties.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1250010
JournalJournal of Earthquake and Tsunami
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Jun


  • Indian Ocean tsunami
  • South China Sea tsunami
  • Tsunami casualty
  • coastal population
  • tsunami hazard

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oceanography
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Geophysics


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