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Unravelling the influence of human behaviour on reducing casualties during flood evacuation

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journal contribution
posted on 2020-08-24, 10:51 authored by S. Alonso Vicario, M. Mazzoleni, S. Bhamidipati, M. Gharesifard, E. Ridolfi, C. Pandolfo, L. Alfonso

Floods are the natural hazards that are causing the most deaths worldwide. Flood early warning systems are one of the most cost-efficient methods to reduce death rates, triggering decisions about the evacuation of exposed population. Although previous studies have investigated the effect of human behaviours on evacuation processes, studies analysing a combination of behaviours, flood onset and warning timing are limited. Our objective is to explore how changes on the aforementioned factors can affect casualties. This is done within a modelling framework that includes an agent-based model, a hydraulic model, and a traffic model, which is implemented for the case study of Orvieto (Italy). The results show that the number of casualties is most impacted by people’s behaviour. Besides, we found that a delay of 30 min in releasing the warning can boost the number of casualties up to six times. These results may help managers to propose effective emergency plans.


This work was supported by the Ground Truth 2.0 project - Environmental knowledge discovery of human sensed data [Grant agreement ID: 689744] under the programme H2020-EU.3.5.5. - Developing comprehensive and sustained global environmental observation and information systems (L 347 - 2013-12-11).