Articles | Volume 38
23 Jan 2014
 | 23 Jan 2014

An accessibility graph-based model to optimize tsunami evacuation sites and routes in Martinique, France

M. Péroche, F. Leone, and R. Gutton

Abstract. The risk of tsunami threatens the whole Caribbean coastline especially the Lesser Antilles. The first available models of tsunami propagation estimate that the travel time from the closest seismic sources would only take few minutes to impact the Martinique Island. Considering this threat, the most effective measure is a planned and organized evacuation of the coastal population. This requires an efficient regional warning system, estimation of the maximum expected tsunami flood height, preparation of the population to evacuate, and drawing up of local and regional emergency plans. In order to produce an efficient evacuation plan, we have to assess the number of people at risk, the potential evacuation routes, the safe areas and the available time to evacuate. However, this essential information is still lacking in the French West Indies emergency plans. This paper proposes a model of tsunami evacuation sites accessibility for Martinique directly addressed to decision makers. It is based on a population database at a local scale, the development of connected graphs of roads, the identification of potential safe areas and the velocity setting for pedestrians. Evacuation routes are calculated using the Dijkstra's algorithm which gives the shortest path between areas at risk and designated evacuation sites. The first results allow us to map the theoretical times and routes to keep the exposed population safe and to compare these results with a tsunami travel time scenario.