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Guideline for Development and Utilization of Tsunami Disaster Management Map


This project started as a part of the PTG joint research project which aims at improving port technology in the framework of ASEAN-Japan transport partnership program.

Reduction of tsunami disasters in a region and a community is attained with a comprehensive approach involving the integration of land use planning, construction of coastal protection facilities and measures for increasing the people’s self-protecting capability against disasters. Tsunami disaster management maps indicate tsunami hazards and vulnerability in the region and community as well as countermeasures against the tsunamis. A tsunami disaster management map is a good tool to investigate and establish comprehensive disaster mitigation system, since it provides necessary graphical information to manage tsunami disasters and minimize damage in the region as well as regional tsunami hazards and vulnerability.

This guideline aims to assist developing countries, in particular countries affected by the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami and of ASEAN, in developing and utilizing the tsunami disaster management maps. It clarifies the basic concepts such as the purpose, role, method, and utilization of such maps.


  • To describe the contents for those who have less knowledge of tsunamis and tsunami numerical simulation in an easy to understand manner
  • To list actual examples of the utilization of disaster prevention maps in order to make it easy to understand for those in charge of administration in developing countries/li>
  • To prepare the storm surge hazard map and to analyze the effects of sea level rise due to global warming


What is a Tsunami Disaster Management Map?

Tsunami disaster management map contains two types of information to mitigate the tsunami disasters:

  • Information of tsunami inundation areas predicted by possible tsunamis and recorded by historical tsunamis This type of information provides tsunami hazard and vulnerable areas against tsunami in the community (Tsunami Inundation Map or Tsunami Hazard Map)
  • Information for enhancing people’s awareness of tsunami disaster, ensuring readiness, and reducing tsunami damages

Definition of the tsunami disaster management map


Contents of Guideline

Chapter 1 : Introduction

Chapter 2 : Outline of a tsunami disaster management map

Chapter 3 : Procedure to prepare a tsunami disaster management map

Chapter 4 : Applications of tsunami disaster management maps

Appendix 1 : Examples of Tsunami Disaster Management Map

Appendix 2 : Characteristics of tsunami


How to use Tsunami Disaster Management Maps

Utilization of Tsunami Disaster Management Map

For use by residents :
Enhance their self-defense abilities and promote smooth evacuation activities.

For use by administrators and decision-makers:
Make plans for residential evacuation and for improving disaster prevention and mitigation facilities including evacuation facilities.

Utilization of Tsunami Disaster Management Map


Educational Opportunities for Residents

Using the tsunami disaster management map in

Following-up workshop
– to enhance residents’ awareness of tsunami disaster prevention and mitigation
– to establish the importance of the map within the community

– to continuously educate people about disasters from childhood
– to provide a chance for family members to talk about disaster prevention and mitigation

Voluntary disaster prevention organization in each district
– to promote more precise tsunami disaster management in the district

Residents discussing evacuation sites and routes



Use of Maps in Japan

Evacuation drills for children

It is important to implement evacuation drills for various conceivable situations, such as when elementary and junior high school students are on the way home from school, because tsunamis may strike at any time.

Evacuation drills conducted on the way back home from school
Former Taiki Town, Mie Prefecture

Informative brochure

To effectively promote residents’ understanding of tsunamis and their disasters, the Susaki City Government in Kochi Prefecture has prepared “Our Town and the Nankai Earthquake and Tsunami – Let’s Learn about Tsunami,” to enhance the disaster prevention ability of communities.

In particular, the brochure can be easily understood by children, who will be future disaster managers in the community and who can disseminate the information among their family members.

Description of tsunami occurrence mechanism in “Our Town
and the Nankai Earthquake and Tsunami – Let’s Learn about Tsunami”


Drawing up evacuation plans

Information of evacuation sites and places as well as inundation area and striking time of the expected tsunami results in identifying areas where it is difficult for people to evacuate, and planning of residents’ and other persons’ evacuation.

Selecting evacution sites for Comunity A depending on time allowance


Flow Chart of Making Tsunami Disaster Management map

The tsunami disaster management map is, in general, developed to add various information on tsunami disaster prevention and mitigation in a tsunami hazard map

First step:
To indicate inundation areas predicted by numerical simulations with possible tsunamis and by investigations of historical tsunami damage records.

Second step:
To add information to provide tsunami disaster mitigation and protecing lives such as

– evacuation sites and routes, –
– evacuation tips
– basic knowledge of tsunami

Flow of preparing tsunami disaster management map



Additional Information for Tsunami Disaster Mitigation

The tsunami disaster management map can be utilized for various purposes besides evacuation: for instance, planning of preventative measures, evaluating the effects of structural measures and others.
According to the aim of the map, necessary information is indicated on the map together with tsunami hazard data. The map should be also prepared corresponding to intended users. Information on the map is recommended to be presented in a comprehensive but easy to understand manner.

Characteristics of each inundation prediction method
Category of
(to be layered in the tsunami disaster management map)
Hazard Inundation risk areas (depth and time)
The following information could be included in the map.
Inundation area records based on historical tsunamis
Inundation depth based on the expected tsunamis
Inundation depth records based on historical tsunamis
Initiation time of inundation based on the expected tsunamis
Initiation time of inundation based on historical tsunamis
Fluid velocity and wave force of the expected tsunamis
Evacuation Evacuation sites or tsunami shelters
Evacuation routes

The following information could be included in the map.
Population distribution in day and night times
Facilities for those who require some assistance for evacuation
Elementary schools and kindergartens
and disaster study
Basic knowledge of tsunamis
Evacuation tips

The following information could be included in the map.
Characteristics of historical tsunamis and their induced disasters
Other disaster management Telephone number of authorities related to disaster management
The following information could be included in the map.
Protection line,
Land use,
Disaster prevention centers
Emergency transportation routes
Police, fire department, hospital and other authorities related to disaster control
Life lines such as power, gas and water supply facilities, and sewerage facilities
Coast protection facilities such as breakwater, tide wall, and water gate)


Recommended Method for Predicting Tsunami Inundation: Numerical Simulation

There are four kinds of inundation prediction methods:
-Numerical simulation method
– Level filling method
– Method based on historical inundation records
– Estimation based on ground elevation

The numerical simulation is recommended to predict the inundation areas, which precisely estimates distribution of inundation depth, initiation time of inundation at each point and others and provides basic data in investigating a strategy and measures of disaster mitigation.

Characteristics of inundation prediction method


Necessary data for Tsunami Numerical Simulation

If bathymetric data and tsunami scenarios to determine the tsunamis striking the community are prepared, numerical simulation can provide a tsunami hitting coasts from the tsunami source. If topographic data on land is available, moreover, the tsunami inundation areas are estimated with the numerical simulations. In recent numerical simulations, the effect of structures such as protection works and coastal buildings in tsunami reduction can be considered, using structure data that is obtained from airborne surveys.

Estimation of the tsunami hazard area with numerical simulations


Step-by-step development of tsunami disaster management map


Making in Workshop

Making the tsunami disaster management map in the workshops together with residents and other representatives
– to reflect local information
– to promote the understanding of inundation areas and evacuation sites
– to foster well-prepared persons against the tsunamis

Workshops are effective for encouraging residents to participate in preparing tsunami disaster management maps, because it helps promote the residents’ understanding and applications of the map.

Ports and Harbours Bureau, Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, Japan (MLIT) prepared the Japanese manual for tsunami disaster management map. Advanced case studies have shown that the disaster management map is an effective evacuation measure.

The exploratory committee on Guideline for Development and Utilization of Tsunami Disaster Management Map prepared a draft version of this guideline by referring to Japan’s Tsunami and Storm Surge Hazard Map Manual.


Guideline Exploratory Committee Members List

Position Name Organization
Chairman Dr. Toshitaka KATADA Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Gunma University
Vice-Chairman Dr. Takashi TOMITA Tsunami Research Director, Tsunami Research Center, Port and Airport Research Institute
Committee Mr. Katsuya ODA Head, Coastal Disaster Prevention Division, Coastal and Marine Department, National Institute for Land and Infrastructure Management
Committee Dr. Kazumasa KATO Visiting Professor, Musashi Institute of Technology
Committee Dr. Shunichi KOSHIMURA Associate Professor, Disaster Control Research Center, Tohoku University
Committee Mr. Tatsuyuki SHISHIDO Senior Executive, The Overseas Coastal Area Development Institute of Japan
Committee Dr. Susumu NAKANO Associate Professor, Department of Civil Engineering, the University of Tokushima
Committee Mr. Satoru MIMURA Team Director, Disaster Management Team, Japan International Cooperation Agency
Chief Secretariat Mr. Takahiko SASAJIMA Director for Special Research, Port and Airport Research Institute



Information for inquiries:

General Inquiries
The Overseas Coastal Area Development Institute of Japan
Mr. Tatsuyuki SHISHIDO, Mr. Hiroshi YAMASAKI
Phone +81-3-5570-5931

Technical inquiries
Tsunami Research Center
Port and Airport Research Institute, Japan
Dr. Takashi TOMITA
Phone +81-46-844-5052


Outline of Guideline for Development and Utilization of Tsunami Disaster Management Map (PDF:3.4MB)

Guideline for Development and Utilization of Tsunami Disaster Management Map (PDF:2.4MB)

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