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2.1 Introduction
2.2 J apan
2.3 U.S.
2.4 Mexico
2.5 Indonesia
2.6 Sri Lanka
2.7 Thailand
2.8 Turkey
2.9 Greek

3.1 Tsunami generation
3.2 Tsunami propagation and transformation
3.3 Harbor resonance
3.4 Tsunami run-up
3.5 Numerical simulations

4.1Tsunami in port areas
4.2 Effect of tsunami on mooring/maneuvering ships
4.3 Damage to small vessels

5.1 Typical damage to port facilities in water
5.2 Typical damage to port facilities on land
5.3 Stability of port facilities against tsunami

6.1 Strategy for tsunami disaster management in ports
6.2 Tsunami scenarios in ports
6.3 Hazard mapping from scenarios

7.1 Tsunami warning
7.2 Evacuation of people
7.3 Evacuation of ships

8.1 Reinforcement of port facility
8.2 Construction of tsunami defenses



1. Background
The Indian Ocean Earthquake Tsunami which
occurred on December 26, 2004 due to a huge
subduction zone earthquake off the west coast of
Sumatra caused devastating damage, including 300
thousand casualties. Ports in the area also suffered
severe damage.

Tsunami means harbor/port wave in J apanese, as
tsunamis seem to appear suddenly and become very
violent in shallow areas, attacking low-lying port areas
that are actively used and densely populated. Port
areas around the world have suffered from many
tsunami disasters with large numbers of casualties.
Once a tsunami disaster occurs, it can be
devastating. However, since the probability of its
occurrence is very low, only a very limited number of
port engineers and administrative personnel have had
actual experience with tsunami disasters. This means
that their knowledge of tsunamis is very limited

2. Objective of this report
Mitigation of disaster starts from understanding the
disaster. The primary objective of the report is to
disseminate knowledge about tsunamis to port
engineers and administrators in order to prepare for
tsunami disasters. Here we summarize the
fundamental mechanics of tsunamis including
simulations of tsunami generation and propagation
and describe the damage that can be inflicted upon a

Also presented are recommendations for disaster
management in ports based on two kinds of scenarios.
The scenario for current preparedness (C-Scenario) is
actually disaster assessment in the current situation,
which allows us to understand the existing risks
including risks of damage to facilities and the impact
on business. The planned scenario of a disaster
(P-Scenario) is actually disaster mitigation planning in
which actual and concrete target levels of Human
Safety, Economic Loss and Business Continuity
are determined. Measures to reach the target should be
discussed and prepared including structural and
non-structural countermeasures with consideration of
resilience. Not only structural countermeasures but
also non structural countermeasures are indispensable
to mitigate very rare but severe disasters like tsunamis.
Especially to save lives evacuation is vital and
therefore the early warning is very important.

3. Contents of the report
Chapter 2 summarizes tsunami disasters that have
actually occurred in ports in the member countries.
Studies are described on investigations of previous
tsunami disasters in ports. Tsunami disasters occur
very often along active subduction zones attacking
nearby coasts and sometimes even remote coasts.
Low-lying areas like ports have often suffered from
severe damages, including those to port facilities and

Chapter 3 explains the process from the generation of
a tsunami to its run-up in order to aid understanding of
the phenomena. A tsunami is a very long wave
generated by deformation of the sea bottom, especially
due to subduction zone earthquakes. A tsunami travels
very quickly in deep sea areas and becomes violent
near shore due to shoaling and breaking, and finally
runs up onto land. Numerical simulations are being
developed to simulate the generation and propagation
of tsunamis.

Chapter 4 explains tsunami behavior in ports,
especially in water zones and the damage caused by
tsunami, particularly to ships. A tsunami intrudes into
a port with rapid currents, and significant change of
the water depth can cause damage to ships. Even with
tsunamis of less than 2 m in height, port areas can be
damaged; in fishery and recreational ports, small boats
can be washed away. With tsunamis of 3 to 4 m in
height, most small boats will be washed up on the land
and can collide with port facilities. Damage to
hazardous facilities and cargo can become very severe.
If the tsunami is higher than 4 m, the damage can be
devastating. Even large vessels can be washed up onto
land areas. Evaluation methods are described for the
tsunami forces and mooring forces.

Chapter 5 explains tsunami damage focusing on port
facilities. Significant damage to port facilities can
occur if the tsunami height is more than 2 m and the
damage increases significantly when the tsunami
height exceeds 4 m. Damage to port facilities in water
is relatively small except for breakwater openings
where the current is intensified. The port facilities near
shore areas will be damaged severely due to the
breaking tsunami front when the tsunami is more than
2 m high. In addition, studies on the stability of port
facilities against tsunami actions are reviewed in this
chapter. For the design of the structures against
tsunamis it is important to estimate incident tsunami
profile (height and current with direction). The design
methods for the structures are basically the same
as the design methods against waves and currents.
This means that the accumulated knowledge of
Coastal and River Engineering can be used in the
designs against tsunamis.

Chapter 6 introduces basic concepts of tsunami
disaster management in ports. What is most important
is predicting the tsunami and the damage it can do in a
port. A comprehensive scenario C-scernarioshould
be prepared to predict the extent of a possible tsunami
disaster for a port at its current preparedness level.
Then, effective and economically feasible
countermeasures can be considered to reduce the
disaster and another scenario P-scenario should
be made to predict what would happen if the
preparedness level is raised by including planned
countermeasures. The scenarios should be
total/comprehensive ones with sub-scenarios covering
everything from the tsunami generation to recovery of
the port following a tsunami attack. Also introduced in
this chapter are disaster management maps including
the hazard maps that can help people grasp the
scenarios, especially the inundation hazard.
Robustness, redundancy and resilience of port
facilities should be considered for disaster

Chapter 7 explains evacuation from tsunami. To save
lives, early warning systems for near and distant
tsunamis are being developed with international
cooperation for tsunami-prone regions. Proper
dissemination methods of tsunami information and
safe evacuation shelters and routes should be prepared
for quick and safe evacuation with evacuation drills.
Evacuation of ships is also important. Escape outside a
port is recommended but when time is limited,
strengthening the mooring is an alternative.

Chapter 8 discusses the structural countermeasures in
ports. Port facilities should be reinforced with
consideration for tsunami attacks. Tsunami defense
facilities may need to be constructed to reduce
tsunami intrusion into a port and onto the land. In
planning these, cost and effect should be carefully
examined. Negative effects to the daily activities and
environment of the port due to the facilities should
also be considered..

Dr. Shigeo Takahashi (Chairperson)
Executive Researcher and Director of Tsunami
Research Center, Port and Airport Research
Institute, J apan
Dr. Wilfred Molenaar (Vice Chairperson)
Hydraulic Structures Design, Delft University of
Technology, The Netherlands
Dr. Takashi Tomita, (Member and Secretary)
Tsunami Research Director, Tsunami Research
Center, Port and Airport Res. Inst., J apan
Dr. Hans F. Burcharth (Member)
Professor, Aalborg University, Denmark
Mr. J ohn R. Headland (Member)
Moffatt & Nichol Engineers, U.S.A.
Dr. Constantine D. Memos (Member)
Professor, Maritime Hydraulics and Port
Engineering, National Technical University of
Athens, Greece
Dr. Subandono Diposaptono (Invited Expert)
Directorate General of Marine, Coasts, and
Small Islands, Ministry of Marine Affairs and
Fisheries, Republic of Indonesia
Dr. S.S.L. Hettiarachchi (Invited Expert)
Professor, Department of Civil Engineering,
University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka
Dr. Panitan Lukkunaprasit (Invited Expert)
Professor, Dept. of Civil Engineering,
Chulalongkorn University, Thailand
Dr. Ahmet Cevdet Yalciner (Invited Expert)
Associate Professor, Dept. of Civil Engineering,
Middle East Technical University, Turkey
Dr. Solomon Yim (Invited Experts)
Professor, Department of Civil, Construction
and Environmental Engineering, Oregon State
University, USA.
Ing. J ose Miguel Montoya Rodriguez (Invited Expert)
Head of the Port and Coastal Eng. Division,
Mexican Institute of Transport, Mexico
Dr. Taro Arikawa (Invited J unior Expert)
Project Researcher, Tsunami Research Center,
Port and Airport Research Institute, J apan
Dr. Saman Samarawickrama (Invited J unior Expert)
Senior Lecturer, Dept. of Civil Engineering,
University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka
Mr. Peter S. Rasch (Invited J unior Expert)
DHI Water & Environment, Denmark

The compilation of the report would not have been
possible without contributions from external experts:
Professor Koji Fujima, National Defense Academy
of J apan
Mr. Yuji Nishimae, J apan Meteorological Agency
Dr. Takahiro Sugano, Port and Airport Research
Institute, J apan
Dr. Efim N Pelinovsky, Institute of Applied
Physics, Russia
Dr. Haruo Yoneyama, Port and Airport Research
Institute, J apan

Special thanks are given to Dr. R. Wim Verhagen,
Chairman of MarCom Committee, Dr. Kazumasa
Katoh, Member of MarCom Committee, Dr. R.
Galapatti, PIANC-CoCom Representative, Mr. J .F.
Kapp, PIANC-CoCom Representative, and the staff of
PIANC headquarter in Brussels. Dr. Katoh was a
mentor for the working group and encouraged the
compilation works.
Thanks are also extended to Dr. Kazuya Watanabe, Mr.
Kazuhiko Honda and Mr. Daisuke Tatsumi, the
members of the PIANC WG53 secretariat within the
Port and Airport Research Institute. Dr. Watanabe
prepared and maintained the website of PIANC WG53
where members could discuss the contents of the draft.

Chapter Authors
2.1 Introduction
2.2 J apan
2.3 U.S.
2.4 Mexico
2.5 Indonesia
2.6 Sri Lanka
2.7 Thailand
2.8 Turkey
2.9 Greek
Dr. S. Takahashi
Dr. T. Tomita
Prof. S. Yim and Dr. J .R. Headland
Ing. R.J .M. Montoya
Dr. S. Diposaptono
Prof. S.S.L. Hettiarachchi and Dr. S. Samarawickrama
Prof. P. Lukkunaprasit and Dr. A. Ruangrassamee
Prof. A.C. Yalciner
Prof. C.D. Memos
3.1 Tsunami generation
3.2 Tsunami propagation and transformation
3.3 Harbor resonance
3.4 Tsunami run-up
3.5 Numerical simulations
Prof. A.C. Yalciner and Dr. T. Tomita
Dr. T. Tomita and Dr. S. Samarawickrama
Dr. T. Tomita and Prof. A.C. Yalciner
Ing. R.J .M. Montoya and Dr. T. Tomita
Dr. T. Tomita
4.1Tsunami in port areas
4.2 Effect of tsunami on mooring/maneuvering ships
4.3 Damage to small vessels
Dr. T. Tomita
Dr. J .R. Headland, Dr. Yoneyama, and Dr. Takahashi
Dr. H. Yoneyama
5.1 Typical damage to port facilities in water
5.2 Typical damage to port facilities on land
5.3 Stability of port facilities against tsunami
Dr. S. Takahashi
Dr. S. Takahashi and Dr. T. Arikawa
Dr. S. Takahashi
6.1 Strategy for tsunami disaster management in ports
6.2 Tsunami scenarios in ports
6.3 Hazard mapping from scenarios
Dr. S. Takahashi
Dr. S. Takahashi and Dr. T. Tomita
Dr. T. Tomita
7.1 Tsunami warning
7.2 Evacuation of people
7.3 Evacuation of ships
Dr. Y. Nishimae and Dr. S. Takahashi
Dr. S. Takahashi
Dr. S. Takahashi
8.1 Reinforcement of port facility
8.2 Construction of tsunami defenses
Dr. S. Takahashi
Prof. C.D. Memos and Dr. S. Takahashi


Many people became aware of the risk of tsunamis only
after the Indian Ocean Tsunami of December 24, 2004,
which killed 300 thousand people. However, tsunamis
occur frequently every year around the world.

Figure 1.1 shows the map of earthquake centers within
the recent 100 years. Large earthquakes occur mainly
around the boundaries of tectonic plates which cover the
earth. The major cause of tsunamis is earthquakes
occurring at the edges of the plates, i.e. subduction
zones which are due to the everlasting movement of
tectonic plates. Tsunamis also occur due to large marine
landslides and volcanic eruptions.

For example, the subduction zone earthquakes off Tokai
Coast in J apan occur at intervals of about 150 years.
Areas that have been attacked by tsunamis in the past
are very likely to be attacked again by tsunamis in the

Tsunami is a J apanese word written with two Chinese
characters. Tsu means harbor/port and nami means
wave, and therefore tsunami means harbor/port wave
in J apanese. The naming comes from the fact that
tsunamis seem to appear suddenly and become very
violent in shallow areas, attacking low-lying areas that
are actively used and densely populated, i.e. port areas.
Port areas around the world have often suffered from
tsunami disasters with large numbers of casualties.

This report was prepared to help people in such
vulnerable areas protect themselves against tsunami
attacks. It is especially for those responsible for the
safety of the people and continuity of the business in
such areas. Chapter 2 presents examples of damage due
to tsunamis especially in ports to give a general view of
the damage that can result from a tsunami attack.
Chapter 3 explains the mechanism of tsunamis from
their generation to their run-up, and Chapters 4 and 5
introduce the behavior of tsunami and its effects on port
facilities. Chapter 6 presents recommendations for
disaster management in ports, and Chapter 7 offers
recommendations for warning and evacuation in cases
of a tsunami attack. Chapter 8 discusses structural
countermeasures that can be implemented for protection
against tsunamis.

North AmericanPl.
Eurasia Pl.
African Pl.
Pacific Pl.
Indo-Australia Pl.
Antarctic Pl.
Fig. 1.1: Epicenters within recent 100 years and tectonic


Disaster prevention will start from peoples
understanding of the disaster. This expresses the
importance of learning from past experiences. From the
century, there were four huge subduction zone
earthquakes exceeding M9.0. Their effects spread
through oceans killing many people along the coasts.
There were also many large subduction zone
earthquakes ranging from M7.5 to M9 that caused
devastating disasters along the coasts near the origin of
the earthquake.

Table 2.1 presents the recent tsunami disasters around
the world. The Indian Ocean tsunami caused by an
earthquake off the west coast of Banda Aceh, Indonesia
in 2004 was the worst natural disaster in history killing
300 thousand people along the coasts of the Indian
Ocean. In 1960, the Chilean tsunami was generated by a
huge earthquake of M9.5, the largest recorded, that
caused significant damage not only along the South
America coasts but also all around the Pacific Ocean.

In Japan, the Meiji-Sannriku earthquake tsunami in
1897 attacked the northern Pacific coasts killing 20
thousand people. More recently, the Nihokai-Chubu
Earthquake Tsunami (1983) and Hokkaido Nanseioki
Earthquake Tsunami (1993) attacked the Japan Sea
coasts causing severe damage. Casualties were limited
due to warning systems in place at the time. In the U.S.,
the Aleutian tsunamis in 1946 and 1957 and the
Kamchatka tsunami in 1952 attacked Alaska, California
and Hawaii causing more than a hundred casualties each.
In Europe, the Messina Earthquake tsunami devastated
coastal cities in southern Italy in 1908.

This chapter presents an overview of tsunami disasters
especially in ports. Damages due to tsunami vary
significantly depending on the location and incident
tsunami height. Port areas are very vulnerable to
tsunami, and damages can occur even if the tsunami
inundation level is low. Photos of tsunami disaster
damage are used to support the explanations.

Table 2.1: Major Tsunami Disasters

2.2 References
Borerro, J., Ortiz, M.,, Titov, V.V., Synolakis, C.E.
(1997) Field survey of Mexican
Tsunami, EOS, Trans. American Geophysical
Union , 78 (8). 85, 8788.
Dalrymple, R.A. and D.L. Kriebel (2005): Lessons in
engineering from the tsunami in Thailand, The Bridge,
U.S. National Academy of Engineering, 35, 2.
Fritz, H.M., C.E. Synolakis, B.G. McAdoo (2006).
Maldives field survey of the 2004 Indian
Ocean Tsunami. Earthquake Spectra
Horikawa, K. and N. Shuto (1983): Tsunami disasters
and protection measures in Japan, Tsunami- their
science and engineering, Terra Scientific Publishing
Co. Tokyo, 9-22.
Imamura F., Arikawaw T., Tomita T., Yasuda T.,
and Kawata Y., (2005):Field investigation on
the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami in the southern
coast of Sri lanka, Asian Paific Coasts 2005,
Jeju, Korea, pp93-105.
Kawata, Y., Benson, B.C., Borrero, J., Davies, H.,
de Lange, W., Imamura, F., Synolakis, C.E.,
(1999) Tsunami in Papua New Guinea, EOS,
Trans. American Geophysical Union , 80 (9)
Synolakis, C.E., and E.N. Bernard (2006): Tsunami
science before and after 2004, Philosophical
Transactions of the Royal Society, A, 364,
22312265, doi:10.1098/rsta.2006.1824.
Takahashi, S. (2005): Tsunami disasters and their
prevention in Japan Toward the performance
design of coastal defense, Proc. Int. Symp. Disaster
Reduction on Coasts, Monash Univ., Australia.
The Investigation Delegation of the Japanese
Government on Disaster caused by the Major
Earthquake off the Coast of Sumatra and
Tsunami in Indian Ocean, The December 26,
2004 Tsunami Disaster in the Indian Ocean-
Report of Investigation, Cabinet Office,
Japanese Government, 2005, 179 p.
Table 2.1: Major tsunami disasters

Name of Earthquake or Tsunami Year Magnitude Location Maximum tsunami heightm Number of deaths
Krakatau Volcano Explosion 1883 Sunda Straight, Java 37 36,417
Meiji-Sanriku Earthquake 1896 8.5 Iwate, Japan 38.2 21,915
Messina, Italy Earthquake and
Tsunami 1908 7.1 Italy, Messina 70,000
Kanto Earthquake 1923 7.8 Kanto region, Japan 12 hundreds of people
Grand Banks Earthquake 1929 7.2 South coast of Newfoundland 29
Showa-Sanriku Earthquale 1933 8.1 Sanriku, Japan 23 3,068
Tounankai Earthquake 1944 8.0 Tonankai, Japan 8 1,223
Aleutian Earthquake 1946 7.8 Aleutian Islands 30 165
Nankai Earthquake 1946 8.0 Nankai, Japan 6 1,443
Kamchatka Earthquake 1952 9.0 Kamchatka Peninsula, Russia 15
Aleutian Earthquake 1957 9. Aleutian Islands 22
Chilean Tsunami 1960 9.5 Coast of South Central Chile 25 6,000
Good Friday Tsunami 1964 9.2 Alaska, British Columbia, California, and coastal
Pacific Northwest
23 121
Moro Gulf Tsunami 1976 7.9 The island of Mindanao, Philippines. 5,000
Tumaco Tsunami 1979 7.9 along the Pacific coast of Colombia and Ecuado 259
Nice 1979 France, Nice 23
Sea of Japan (Nihonkai-Chubu)
tsunami 1983 7.7 Akita, Japan 6.6 100
Okushiri, Hokkaido tsunami 1993 7.8 Okushiri Island, Japan 30 201
Papua New Guinea 1998 7.1 Papua New Guinea 12 2,200
Indian Ocean Tsunami (Asian
Tsunami) 2004 9.1 Sumatra, Indonesia 38 300,000
South of Java Island Tsunami 2006 7.7 South of Pangandaran 6 540
Solomon Islands Tsunami 2007 8.1 Northwest of the Solomon Islands 5 52


2.2.1 Introduction

Japan has most experiences of tsunami disasters in the
world. Tsunami-induced damages depend on geometry
and topography as well as characteristics of tsunamis
striking coasts, and disasters are caused in relation to
human activities and eco-system. In this section,
therefore, natural and social condition of Japan is briefly
introduced at first, and then tsunami history and
disasters due to recent tsunamis are described. Because
disasters in many ports were caused by each tsunami,
descriptions in the later sub-sections are summarized in
each major tsunami.

2.2.2 Natural and Social Condition

Japan is an islands country located in the northwestern
part of the Pacific Ocean. The Sea of Japan and the East
China Sea separate Japan from the Eurasian continent.
Total land area of Japan is approximately 378,000
square kilometers, and nearly 80% among the area is
mountainous and unsuitable for agricultural, industrial,
or residential use. Numerous small and narrow plains
are mainly along the coasts, and majority of population
of Japan reside and most human activities develop there.
The coastline is totally 35,000 kilometers in length, and
has various configurations: plain beaches, bays,
2.2.3 Tsunami history

Japan is in the circum-Pacific volcanic belt of Pacific
Ring of Fire, and subduction zones in which big
earthquakes occur are formed by four earths crusts of
Eurasian Plate, North American Plate, Pacific Plate, and
Philippine Sea Plate encountering under the Japanese
islands and surrounding sea, as shown in Fig. 2.1.

Fig. 2.1: Tectonic plates surrounding Japan

In Japanese history, big earthquakes have occurred
repeatedly along these subduction zones, and such
earthquakes generated tsunamis which caused severe
disasters. The earliest record in Japanese history of
tsunami disaster is an event in 684 which is caused by
Hakuo-Nankai Earthquake. Figure 2.2 shows Recentl
earthquakes and tsunamis in Japan.

The population of Japan is 128 million people in 2008
and the majority of them live in urban areas which have
been developed coastal areas. The population density
in 2005 is 343 persons per square kilometer on average.
Since a number of people with high density reside in
coastal areas, Japan has high risk of coastal natural
disasters: tsunami and storm surge. For example,
Typhoon Ise-wan in 1959 exited 3.5-meter storm surge
in the Ise Bay with unprecedented damage including
more than 5000 people killed or missing.

A number of big earthquakes with high tsunamis have
occurred along the Nankai Trough in the southern sea
off the main island of Japan, in which the Philippine Sea
Plate slides beneath the Eurasian Plate. Time interval of
their earthquake occurrences is 100 to 150 years. Past
earthquakes occurring there were M8 class: Meio
Earthquake of M8.2 8.3 in 1498, Keicho Earthquake
of M8.0 in 1605, Hoei Earthquake ofM8.4 in 1707,
Ansei-Tokai Earthquake ofM8.4 in 1854, Ansei-Nankai
Earthquake of M8.4 in 1854, Showa-Tonankai
Earthquake of M7.9 in 1944 and Showa-Nankai
Earthquake of M8.0 in 1946.

Japanese economy is also developed well in coastal
areas. Since Japan has few natural resources and
depends on foreign imports, industries are well
developed especially around ports. Metropolises are
extended in large port areas facing the Pacific Ocean.
Thus, social and economic development has progressed
in coastal areas, especially port areas, which are
vulnerable against tsunami and storm surge.

Fig. 2.2: Past earthquakes and tsunami in Japan (form Ports
and Haubour Bureau, MLIT, Japan)

Along the Japan Trench in the northeastern sea off the
main island of Japan, in which the Pacific Plate plunges
below the North American Plate, many tsunamis have
also occurred. The Meiji-Sanriku Earthquake of M8.5 in
1896 induced a big tsunami, by which over 20,000
persons were killed, approximately 9,000 houses were
washed away, and over 6,000 vessels were destroyed.
The highest run-up height of the tsunami of 38.2 m was
recorded at Ayasato, Iwate Prefecture. Since this
earthquake is one of those called Slow Earthquake or
Tsunami Earthquake, which release slowly the
earthquake energy with a little shaking but big tsunami,
almost people were not aware of a possible tsunami
after the little earthquake.

In the Sea of Japan, two big earthquake tsunamis were
recorded most recently. The Nihonkai Chubu
Earthquake of M7.7 in 1983 occurred about 100 km
west of the coast of Noshiro in Akita Prefecture, and it
generated the tsunami which killed 100 persons along
coast of the Sea of Japan: 41 construction workers in
ports and harbors,18 sport fishing persons, 6 fishermen
on boats overturned, and 13 children who came to a
beach for school excursion, 1 visiting foreigner, 3
working farmers and others. The run-up height was
larger from the northern part of Akita Prefecture to the
north shore of the Oga peninsula. The highest tsunami
run-up was 14 m at Mine village, Aomori Prefecture.
The earliest tsunami arrival time was 7 minutes after the
earthquake in Fukaura Port, Akita Prefecture. It was a
slight receding tsunami. The retreating tsunamis at first
were also measured at the ports of Esashi, Matsumae
and Yoshioka in Hokkaido Prefecture, and Noshiro in
Akita Prefecture. In the others, the first was a flooding
tsunami. The measured largest sea level rise including
tide was 2.08 m at the tide station in Noshiro Port, and
tsunami height was 1.94 m. Even in the east coast of
Korea, the high sea level rise of 1.23 m was measured,
including 0.98 m of the tsunami height. The typical
wave period of the tsunami was about 10 minutes in a
lot of ports and harbors. However, predominant periods
were longer in some ports, because of harbor resonance.

Another earthquake in the Sea of Japan is the Hokkaido
Nansei-oki Earthquake of M7.8 in 1993. The earthquake
also induced the tsunami which caused devastating
damage especially in Okushiri Island, Hokkaido
Prefecture. The number of victims by the tsunami and
earthquake was totally 230 persons. About 80% of the
victims in Okushiri Island were by the tsunami: 172
dead and 26 missing people. The tsunami climbed a
steep hill surface up to 31.7 m at the Monai area in
Okushiri Island. The high tsunami runup is affected by
bathymetry and topography: Locally very shallow
water area consisting of a pocket beach of about 250 m
long and two tiny islands in front of the hill increased
tsunami height, and the hill surface scooped like the V
character also helps the tsunami to converge tsunami
flow, resulting in the high runup. Part of the Aonae
area on a southern promontory of Okushiri Island was
hit by the tsunami on over 10 m, resulting in destruction
of all of 77 houses on low-lying flatten area. Large
numbers of death toll in Okushiri Island depended on
arrival time of the tsunami as well as height of the
tsunami. Since the epicenter was located in the
north-northeast about 50 km off Okushiri Island, the
tsunami arrived at Okushiri Island 3 5 minutes
immediately after the earthquake. The Aonae area was
hit twice by the tsunami. The first tsunami came from
west approximately 5 minutes after the earthquake,
which is the tsunami propagating from the tsunami
source. The second tsunami struck the area from
northeast a few minutes after the first attack, which is
the tsunami diffracted and refracted by the island.

The Yaeyama Earthquake Tsunami occurred in 1771
near Yaeyama Island in Okinawa, most south part of
Japan. The magnitude of earthquake was 7.4 and the
earthquake brought no victims directly. However, the
induced tsunami whose run-up height was over 30 m in
Ishigaki Island killed totally about 12,000 people.
According to ancient documents, the highest run-up by
this tsunami was 85.4 m in Ishigaki Island.

Distant tsunami (Teletsunami) also caused damage. In
1960 the tsunami induced by the Chilean Great
Earthquake of M 9.5 off the coast of Chile propagated
through the Pacific Ocean and hit coasts of Japan: not
only the coasts facing to the Pacific Ocean but the coasts
along the Sea of Japan, which is shaded by Japan islands.
For example, in the Sanriku coast, northern part of the
main island of Japan, the tsunami arrival time was 22
hours after the earthquake and runup height was over
6m. Total victims by this tsunami were 142 people.

Photo 2.2: 1960 Chilean Tsunami striking in Ofunato (from
HP of Iwate Prefecture,
2.2.4 Various Damages by Tsunami

Tsunamis have caused various types of damage as well
as a number of victims and wide inundation on land
(Photos 2.1 and 2.2): destruction of houses (Photo 2.3),
damage of transportation facilities such as ports and
harbors (Photo 2.4), damage of aquaculture facilities,
erosion and deposition in coastal areas, damage of
vessels and cars (Photos 2.5, 2.6 and 2.7), secondary
damage by debris and drifted vessels and timbers
(Photos 2.8 and 2.9), fire spreading (Photo 2.10) and
other .

Photo 2.3: Destruction in the Taro area, Miyako City Iwate
Prefecture by the 1946 Sanriku Earthquake Tsunami (From
the web page of information on tsunami disaster
management in Taro,

Photo 2.1: Tsunami inundation in Kiritappu, Hokkaido, Japan
by the 1960 Chilean Tsunami (from presentation of the Ports
and Harbours Bureau, Ministry of Land, Infrastructure,
Transport and Tourism, Japan)

Photo 2.4: Damage of breakwater in Okushiri Port by the
1993 Hokkaido Nansei-oki Earthquake Tsunami (Tanimoto et
al,. 1993)

Photo 2.8: Various debris and vessels in Sizugawa Town,
Akita Prefecture by the 1960 Chilean Tsunami (from the web
page of the Tohoku Regional Bureau, Ministry of Land
Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism,
Photo 2.5: Inundated cars in Ohtsu Fishery Port, Town of
Toyokoro, Hokkaido Prefecture, by the 2003 Off Tokachi
Earthquake Tsunami (Photo courtesy of Tokachi Port and
Harbor Office)

Photo 2.9: Fishing boat drifted in the Aonae area by the 1993
Hokkaido Nansei-oki Earthquake Tsunami (Tanimoto et al.,
Photo 2.6: Fishing boat lifted on the wharf beside oil tanks in
Tokachi Port by the 2003 Off Tokachi Earthquake Tsunami
(Photo courtesy of Tokachi Port and Harbor Office, Hokkaido
Bureau, Ministry of Land Infrastructure, Transport and
Tourism, Japan)

Photo 2.10: Aonae Town devastated by the flooding of the
1993 Hokkaido Nansei-oki Earthquake Tsunami and
tsunami-induced fire spreading (Tanimoto et al., 1993)

2.2.5 Tsunami Damage and Preparedness in Ports

(1) Susaki Port
The Susaki Port is located nearly in the center of Tosa
Bay, south of the Shikoku Island. It is a good natural
port opened in a ria coast. Such a geophysical feature
provides especially weakness against the tsunami
coming from an open sea. The port has suffered damage
Photo 2.7: Salvaging work of fishing boat sunk in Ohtsu
Fishery Port by the 2003 Off Tokachi Earthquake Tsunami

by tsunami repeatedly. The Nankai Earthquake Tsunami
in 1946 and the Chilean Tsunami in 1960 triggered
serious damage.

Chilean Tsunami in 1960
The tsunami caused severe damages in the Oma area
and the downtown of Susaki City. In the Oma area, a lot
of houses were broken by timbers that flowed out from
timber yards on the land since some parts of the
embankment were breached by the tsunami attack and
the seawater flooded the timber yards and the vicinities.
The downtown of Susaki City was flooded by the
tsunami that ran up a river named Horikawa and then a
number of houses received serious damage.
Photo 2.11: Part of tsunami breakwater in Susaki Port, The
breakwat5er in a circle is part of the breakwater constructed
already in 2001

Preparedness against tsunamis of the port

Learning from historical tsunami disasters, Susaki will
be hit by tsunamis in the future. In order to mitigate the
possible tsunami disasters, a tsunami breakwater (Photo
2.2.11) and seawalls have been constructed. The target
tsunami for disaster management is Showa Nankai
Earthquake Tsunami in 1946, which caused severe
damages and whose accurate records were remained.
The tsunami breakwater has been constructed since
1992 instead of construction of high seawalls along long
coast. The breakwater consists of three parts whose
lengths are 700, 200 and 480 meters. However
tsunami disaster prevention accomplishes with the
combination of the breakwater and seawalls.

Photo 2.12: Large display of disaster-related information in
Susaki City
Not only the above-mentioned structural
countermeasures the city government has prepared
various countermeasures. All the citizens now have
tsunami hazard maps which indicate inundation areas
and evacuation routes and places and can join
tsunami-lecture meetings and the evacuation drills.
People can see tsunami evacuation signs in the streets
and more recently, for dissemination of tsunami
information, an electrical bulletin board is placed in the
center of Susaki City (Photo 2.12). In the board,
meteorological and maritime information is displayed as
well as real-time information of the tsunami measured at
the Susaki Port.

(2) Kamaishi Port
Kamaishi City is situated in the south-eastern section of
Iwate prefecture, in the center of the Sanriku coastline
which is a ria coast and designated as the Rikuchu
National Park. .Since it situated in part of the ria coast
which makes good harbors, the Kamaishi Port has
suffered a number of tsunami disasters in the same way
as the Susaki Port. The 1896 Meiji Sanriku Earthquake
Tsunami, 1933 Showa Sanriku Earthquake Tsunami
and1960 Chilean Tsunami caused serious disasters in

Overview of the disaster in the port area
The Meiji Sanriku Earthquake Tsunami in 1896, whose
epicenter located 200 kilometers off Kamaishi, caused
the following damages:
- 4,985 death or missing persons out of the population of
6,529 in Kamaishi Town at that time,
- 1,046 damaged houses,
- 151 inundated houses,
- 137 damaged vessels.

The Showa Sanriku Earthquake Tsunami in 1933 caused
the following damages:
- 403 death or missing persons,
- 1,046 damaged houses,
- 151 inundated houses,
- 137 damaged vessels.

The Chilean Tsunami in 1960 caused the following
- 142 death or missing persons,
- 1,046 damaged houses,
- 151 inundated house,
- 137 damaged vessels.

Preparedness against tsunamis of the port
In Kamaishi port, the tsunami breakwater was
constructed in the mouth of Kamaishi Bay, whose water
depth is 63 m. It is the breakwater constructed in
deepest water in the world.

S Opening section
of breakwater
(Outside of breakwater)
(Outside of breakwater)
North breakwater
990 m
Opening section
300 m
South breakwater
670 m
Plain view
Cross-section view
-19 m

Fig. 2.3: Outline of tsunami breakwater in Kamaishi Port

(3)Okushiri Port
Photo 2.13 is a photo of the Aonae district of Okushiri
Island just after the Hokkaido Nanseioki Earthquake
Tsunami Okushiri Tsunami. As already mentioned, the
tsunami attacked the Okushiri Island, especially the
Cape Aonae District including Okushiri Port.

After the disaster, construction work was implemented
to establish a total disaster prevention system for
Okushiri Island. Figure 2.4 shows a map of land use
planning, where houses in the most severely damaged
areas were to be moved to high land areas and some
land reclamation would be done to create higher land
areas. Photo 2.15 shows the seawalls in front of the
reclaimed lands and an artificial high ground in the
fishery port where fishermen can work daily on the first
floor and use the second floor for evacuation.

Photo 2.13: Aonae district and fishery port, Hokkaido, JAPAN
(More than 10 m tsunami washed the hoses in the area into
the fisher port)

New Town

Figure 2.4: Land use planning of Aonae districtt)

Artificial High Ground
11m seawall
6m Seawall
Fishery Port

Photo 2.14: Tsunami Refuge Terrace at Aonae fishery port,
Hokkaido, JAPAN (Refugees run up the terrace, and then
evacuate mountain area through the overpass deck when
tsunami warning alert is announced)

(3) Other ports
Ofunato Port
The Chilean Tsunami in 1960 struck Ofunato City
which is a city in Sanriku coast, northern part of main
island of Japan. The water surface disturbance was
caused at 3:10 AM such as storm surge firstly, and then
the sea surface was retreated from 3:13 AM, which
reached the lowest level of 3.8 m. Around 4:40 AM 90
minutes later, the flooding tsunami came gently but
caused serious disaster in Ofunato City. The tsunami
inundated the rice field 2 km away from the coast.
Especially the inner bay coast which had less damage by
the historical Sanriku tsunamis before the Chilean
Tsunami suffered hardly damage. On the other hand, the
bay mouth area had less damage by the Chilean
Tsunami gave less damage in the bay mouth area which
had big damage by the Sanriku tsunamis. The difference
of damaged areas depends on the resonance of tsunami
by the bay. In the sea surface, the cultivation facilities
for oysters, laver, and etc. were flushed completely

Noshiro Port
Noshiro port was struck by the 1983 Sea of Japan
Tsunami. The tsunami arrived at the Noshiro Port
around 20 minutes after the earthquake. The tsunami
was deformed to a bore with soliton fission (undulation
bore) on the sea bed with mild slope angle less than
1/200, which is continue to 30 km offshore from the
shoreline. The run-up height reached 5 6 meters there.
The tsunami attacked also the construction site of a
seawall for a power plant yard in the port. Since it was
during the day, a lot of construction workers were
sacrificed on the site and vessels. Parts of the seawall
were also damaged. Some caissons were moved and
dropped down from the foundation works. The damaged
areas of the seawall were under construction of
wave-dissipation works and back-fill works. In the parts
where the back-fill works were completed, there is less

Akita Port
The 1983 Sea of Japan Tsunami cluttered timbers on the
sea surface in the port and on the yards beside the old
river of Omonogawa. The tsunami run off the 15,000
timbers out of a total of 28,000 approximately.

Fukaura Port
The Fukaura Port was attacked earliest by the 1983 Sea
of Japan Tsunami. It was 7 minutes after the quake. The
tsunami run-up height was more than 3 meters. The
tsunami overtopped low-crested breakwater whose
height was CDL+2.0 meters, and the strong outflow was
generated at the opening section of the breakwater in the
phase of the retreating tsunami. This provided less
difference of the tsunami run-up heights between the
inside and outside of the port

2.3 U.S. (2) Risk to the East Coast
The East Coast of the United States has experienced few
tsunamis as there are few tsunamigenic faults in the
North Atlantic. Additionally, the wide continental
shelf off the East Coast should moderate distant tsunami
effects (Lander and Lockridge 1989). Damage to U.S.
ports has been almost exclusively to those in the Pacific

2.3.1 Tsunamis and Their Damage in the Ports of the
United States

(1) Tsunami history and mitigation steps
The United States has experienced over 80 significant
tsunamis in its 230 year history resulting in over 370
deaths and over $180 million in damage to ports,
property, and vessels. The more recent major tsunamis
spurred the U.S. to take steps to mitigate the risk. The
1946 Alaskan tsunami, which took 5 lives in Alaska and
173 lives in Hawaii, prompted the U.S. Government to
establish the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Hawaii.
The 1960 Chilean tsunami, which claimed 1,000 lives in
Chile, 199 in Japan, and 61 in Hawaii, and the 1964
Alaskan tsunami, which claimed 117 lives in Alaska, 11
in California, and 4 in Oregon resulted in the U.S.
establishing the International Tsunami Information
Center in Hawaii, the Joint Tsunami Research Effort,
and the Alaska Tsunami Warning Center in Palmer,
Alaska (Bernard 2005).

(3) Risk to the West Coast, Alaska, and Hawaii
The potential for tsunami generation along the West
Coast of the U.S. exists along the Alaskan-Aleutian
Subduction Zone, the Cascadia Subduction Zone (CSZ),
the south coast of the island of Hawaii, and along the
Palos Verdes, Santa Cruz Island, and Santa Rosa Island
faults in Southern California. Three of the four
tsunamis which claimed lives in the U.S. in the last 100
years were generated along the Alaskan-Aleutian
Subduction zone. The waters off the coast of Alaska
are the most seismically active in the Pacific, and
produced the strongest recorded earthquake of
magnitude 9.2 in 1964.

According to the USGS, the Cascadia Subduction Zone
(CSZ) has a 10% to 14% chance of producing a large
magnitude earthquake and associated large tsunami in
the next 50 years (Tsunami Preparedness Act, 2005).
The local tsunami hazard in the Pacific Northwest
wasnt fully realized until the late 1980s. The CSZ is
now recognized as a potential source of megathrust
events, which can result in an 8.0 to 9.0 magnitude
earthquake, and a major Pacific-wide tsunami similar to
the Indian Ocean tsunami, see Fig. 2.5. These
conclusions were corroborated by evidence found of
previous tsunamis along the Oregon-Washington coast
(Geist 2005).
In 1992, an earthquake of magnitude 7.2 off the
Northern California coast generated a small tsunami, but
propagated large concerns in coastal residents. This
tsunami and a false Pacific-wide tsunami warning
following the 1994 Kuril Island earthquake prompted
Congress create the a workgroup of federal agencies and
Pacific Coast States. This led to the establishment of
the National Tsunami Hazard Mitigation Program
(NTHMP) in 1996, a collaborative effort of NOAA, the
U.S. Geological Society (USGS), the Federal
Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and the five
coastal states, Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon, and
Washington. Over the past ten years, the NTHMP has
focused on 1) Improving detection and warning systems,
including developing a seismic network, deployment of
tsunami detection buoys (DART), and improved
state/federal coordination and support for tsunami
warnings; 2) Mitigation, which includes developing
state/local tsunami hazard mitigation plans; and 3)
Tsunami Hazard Assessments, i.e., producing accurate
and useful inundation maps (Gonzales, et al. 2005).
The NTHMP has made notable progress in all three
areas. The two warning centers now have information
from a global seismic network. The DART system
buoys have been in place since 2001. Tsunami
inundation maps have been developed for most of the
at-risk communities on the West Coast.

Fig. 2.5: Comparison of the 2004 Sumatra rupture and the
1700s Cascadia Subduction Zone rupture. The bar on right is
a 700-mile scale (Source: California Seismic Safety
Commission (CSSC), Publication 05-03)

The likelihood of a local tsunami in Southern California
is believed to be similar to that of the CSZ event
(California OES). Researchers in Southern California
believe that there is a credible tsunami threat from
sub-marine landslides in the Santa Barbara Channel.
However, Cascadia Subduction Zone poses the greatest
threat of producing a large tsunami that will hit
California (CSSC 05-03).

The tsunami threat to Hawaii is greater from the distant
tsunami than the local Kona Fault, as is impacted by
tsunamis generated from any of the Pacific Rim Faults.
The at-risk communities and population from the local
tsunami hazard on the West coast was summarized by
NOAA in 2005 and is presented in Table 2.2.

Table 2.2: At risk populations in Pacific States, 2000 Census
(Source: Gonzalez, et al. 2005)

State Communities At-risk
Alaska 147 122,150
California 58 1,948,813
Hawaii 63 383,280
Oregon 31 95,094
Washington 104 899,236
Total 500 3,447,573

By looking at the effects of tsunamis on the major ports
along the Pacific States, a better idea can be gained of
the expected damage from tsunamis. A comprehensive
summary of damage from tsunamis in the U.S. can be
found in the U.S. Department of Commerce publications
listed in the references. The information below is
mainly taken from these publications.

2.3.2 California

(1) San Diego
The March 9, 1957 Alaskan-Aleutian Islands magnitude
8.3 earthquake generated a tsunami which resulted in a 1
meter wall of water entering San Diego bay. Currents
of 46 km/hr were reported, and several ships broke lose
from their moorings.

The May 22, 1960, Chilean magnitude 8.6 earthquake
generated a Pacific wide tsunami with a measured wave
of 0.7 meters in San Diego, where it destroyed 80
meters of dock, 8 small boat slips, and broke several
ships and barges free of their moorings. Currents were
estimated to have reached 40 km/hr in the entrance to
the channel (Lander and Lockridge 1989).

The March 28, 1964 Alaskan Prince William Sound
magnitude 9.2 earthquake produced a Pacific wide
tsunami that caused the water to rise 2 meters in the
entrance channel to Mission Bay. Several moorings
were broken from the strong currents (Lander and
Lockridge 1989).

(2) Los Angeles/Long Beach
The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are at perhaps
the greatest exposure to catastrophic losses, as they do
not have any significant natural or man made protection
from a tsunami. The Inner Harbor is on average 3
meters above mean high water level, and a 5 meter or
larger tsunami could inundate much of the 7500-acre
port area. A two month shutdown of the LA/LB ports
could cost $60 billion. This does not include the direct
damage by the tsunami to vessels and port infrastructure
(CSSC 05-03).

The 1960, Chilean tsunami caused $1 million in damage
to the port of Los Angeles as wave heights were
estimated to be near 2 meters and currents estimated to
be 8 knots in the harbor. Over 800 vessels broke their
moorings, mostly small craft; forty were sunk and 200
damaged (Lander and Lockridge 1989).

The 1964 tsunami from the Alaskan earthquake
produced two 2 meter surges of water in Los Angles
harbor. Seventy five to a hundred boats were broke
free from their moorings mostly on the Terminal Island
side of the Cerritos Channel. Three small boats were
sunk. Damage was done to a pier from a tanker which
was mooring at the time the first surge hit (Lander and
Lockridge, 1989).

(3) San Francisco
The 1960, Chilean tsunami caused the waters in San
Francisco bay to rise 0.5 meter near the Golden Gate.
Minor damage at various marinas was reported and ferry
services were temporarily disrupted due to large

The 1964 tsunami from the Alaskan Prince William
Sound earthquake produced a wave height of 1.1 meters
near the entrance to San Francisco Bay. Strong
currents damaged marinas and sank several boats in San
Rafael and Sausalito where damage totaled $1 million
(Lander and Lockridge, 1989).

(4) Crescent City
Crescent City, California is not a major port, but has
experienced the most tsunami damage of any port on the
West Coast. The surrounding bathymetry tends to
focus tsunami wave energy toward this port.
The 1960 Chilean tsunami had a run-up of 4 meters at
Crescent City and resulted in 2 vessels being sunk and
the city dock area being flooded.

The $11 million in damage to Crescent City from the
tsunami from the 1964 Alaskan earthquake was the
greatest ever from a tsunami to a port on the West Coast.
Damage exceeded $11 million and 11 people were killed
as four tsunami waves swept into the harbor over a
period of four hours. The third wave was the largest at
6.3 meters and caught many people off guard as they
returned to the damaged waterfront after the second
wave. Twenty one commercial fishing vessels were
lost. A Coast Guard cutter, a tug boat, and a few fishing
boats were able to make it out of the harbor and into
deep water to ride out the waves. The waterfront, piers,
and 30 blocks of the city were devastated (Lander, et al.

The 2006 Kuril Islands Earthquake created surges that
caused an estimated $700,000-$1,000,000 in losses to
the small boat basin at Citizens Dock, destroying two
floating docks, damaging a third and causing minor
damages to several boats (Kelly, et al. 2006).

2.3.3 Oregon

(1) Portland
There has been no reported tsunami damage to this
major port as it is located over 100 miles up the
Columbia River. Oregons coastal ports have been
damaged by past tsunamis with damage mainly to small
vessels and their moorings.

2.3.4 Washington

(1) Seattle, Tacoma, and Olympia
There has been no reported tsunami damage to the
major ports in Washington. The 1964, Alaskan
tsunami had a recorded amplitude of 0.4 feet at Seattle.
Geologists have recently determined that the Seattle
Fault which runs east-west under the Port of Seattle and
Elliot bay generated and earthquake and a local tsunami
1000 years ago and could again in the future.
Numerical modeling of the worst case credible
earthquake in the Seattle Fault estimates tsunami run-up
heights of 6 meters in the Port of Seattle, which would
be devastating.

2.3.5 Alaska

(1) Juneau
The port of Juneau recorded tsunami heights of 1.1
meters from the 1964 Alaskan Prince William Sound
earthquake, however there was little to no damage at the
port. It is possible but unlikely that a distant tsunami
could cause major damage at the port of Juneau (Lander,
et al., 1993).

(2) Anchorage
There has been little to no damage at the Port of
Anchorage from tsunamis. The location of Anchorage
at the end of Cook Inlet and the shallow depth of the
inlet has limited the effects of distant tsunamis on this

(3) Valdez
The town of Valdez was located on a delta of silty sand
and gravel. When the 1964 earthquake occurred in
Prince William Sound earthquake occurred, a section of
the waterfront with the dock area and part of the town,
1220m long and 183m wide slid into the bay (Photo
2.15). This devastating slump then created a local 9-12
meter tsunami which hit the town 2-3 minutes after the
earthquake. A freight vessel at the Valdez dock
unloading cargo was raised 9 meters and heeled over 50
degrees bay the wave, which then went on to demolish
the remainder of the waterfront facilities, the fishing
fleet, and penetrate 2 blocks into the city. A fire then
broke out at tank farm near the shore. The freight
vessel was able to get underway and maneuver into
deeper water.

Photo 2.15: Port of Valdez and waterfront destroyed from
March 1964 tsunami (Source: National Geophysical Data

Photo 2.16: Damage at Seward following tsunami of March,
1964 (Source: National Geophysical Data Center)

(4) Seward
The 1964, Alaskan earthquake cased a similar landslide
at the Port of Seward, as a 1,070 meter by 91 meter
section of the waterfront slide into Resurrection Bay.
Fire broke out along the waterfront as oil spread from
ruptured tanks at an affected tank farm. Waves from
the landslide did some damage, but a larger wave from
the main earthquake reached Seward 20 minutes later.
This wave measured 9 meters and inundated several
blocks into Seward (Lander and Lockridge, 1989).
photo 2.16 shows some of the damage with fishing
vessel carried onshore and a tank truck destroyed in the

(5) Kodiak
1964 Alaskan earthquake produced tsunami waves over
nine meters at Kodiak which caused nineteen deaths and
over $31 million in damage. All of the floating docks
behind the breakwaters were carried away and all docks
and wharves, except the City Dock, were destroyed.
Most of the fishing fleet moored in the harbor was
destroyed, as the wall of water carried 90 metric ton
vessels three blocks into the city. Fifteen of the nineteen
fatalities in Kodiak were among fishermen trying to
save their boats after the first smaller wave hit the
harbor (Lander and Lockridge 1989).

The Kodiak Naval Station sustained $10 million in
damage from the tsunami, including complete
destruction of the cargo dock and heavy damage to
roads and bridges.

2.3.6 Hawaii

(1) Hilo
In 1923 a six meter tsunami struck Hilo from
earthquakes in the Gulf of Kronotski, Kamchatka. The
railroad line was washed out, wharves were damaged
and fishing vessels were washed ashore.

On April 1, 1946, the port of Hilo on the island of
Hawaii was devastated by a tsunami generated from a
7.3 M earthquake along the Aleutian Islands in Alaska.
The waves hit unexpectedly and had people running for
their lives in downtown Hilo. The waterfront was
destroyed by waves over eight meters high (Lander and
Lockridge, 1989). The man in Photo 2.17, who cut a
mooring line freeing a freighter at Pier 1, was taken by
the wave and became one of the ninety six casualties in
Hilo. The vessel was able to make it safely out to sea.
Many smaller vessels were washed up to 400 meters
inland. Photo 2.18 shows the damage to Pier 2.

Photo 2.17: Tsunami of 1946 breaking over Pier 1 in Hilo,
Hawaii. The man in the photograph cut a mooring line on a
freighter before becoming one of the 156 casualties in Hawaii
(Source: Pacific Tsunami Museum website.)

Photo 2.18: Damage to Pier 2 in Hilo following 1946 tsunami
(Source: Pacific Tsunami Museum website.)

In 1952, an earthquake on Kamchatka generated a
tsunami which struck Hawaii. The highest measured
wave heights were near Hilo at 3.5 meters. A
boathouse was destroyed as a 2.4 meter wave washed
over a wharf in Hilo. Coast Guard navigation buoys
were broken loose from their moorings (Lander and
Lockridge, 1989).

In 1957, an earthquake of Adak Island in Alaska
produced a tsunami of 1 meter in Hilo and caused
$300,000 in damage to cargo at Pier 1. Fishing boats
were carried inland. Buildings along the waterfront
were badly damaged. A marine dry dock was also

The 1960 Chilean earthquake generated a Pacific wide
tsunami which struck the Hawaiian Islands. Hilo, the
worst hit of the ports in Hawaii, had $23.5 million in
damage and all of the 61 fatalities. Around Hawaii the
waves acted like a slowly rising tide, except in Hilo,
where the third wave came in as a bore and resulted in a
run-up of 6 meters. In half of the 600-acre area,
inundated inland of Hilo harbor, there was total
destruction. Only steel framed and reinforced concrete
buildings, and a few sheltered by these buildings,
remained standing in this area. Frame buildings were
crushed or floated away. Photo 2.19 shows some of
the damage to Hilo.

The 1964 Alaskan tsunami, while devastating ports in
Alaska and causing damage along the West Coast of the
U.S., only caused minor damage in Hawaii. Again
Hilo received the highest measured wave heights of 3
meters. Some waterfront buildings were flooded and the
approach to a bridge was damaged.

(2) Honolulu
The 1952, tsunami generated from an earthquake on
Kamchatka forced a cement barge loose from its
moorings in Honolulu harbor and rammed it into a
moored freight vessel.
The 1946 and 1960 tsunamis which were devastating to
Hilo only caused minor damage in Honolulu harbor.

Photo 2.19: Damage to the Waiakea area of Hilo from the
1960 Chilean tsunami (Source: Pacific Tsunami Museum)

2.3.7 Summary

Damage from tsunamis varies greatly from the source
event, tides, and location of the ports. In naturally
protected ports, such as San Diego, San Francisco, and
Honolulu damage is mostly from strong currents.
Exposed ports and those with bathymetry which tends to
focus tsunami energy, such as Hilo and Crescent City,
received more catastrophic damage from the impact of
tsunami waves and bores.

2.3.8 References

Bernard, E. N.(2005): The U.S. National Tsunami
Hazard Mitigation Program--A successful
state-federal partnership. IN Bernard, E. N.,
editor, Developing tsunami-resilient
communities--The National Tsunami Hazard
Mitigation Program: Springer, 5-24.
Geist, Eric L. (2005): Local tsunami hazards in the
Pacific northwest from Cascadia Subduction
Zone Earthquakes: U.S. Geological Survey
Professional Paper 1661-B. [accessed Dec. 12,
2005 at]
Gonzalez, F. I., V.V. Titov, H. O. Mofjeld, A.J>
Venturato, R. S. Simmons, R. Hansen, R.
Combellick, R. K. Eisner, D. Hoirup, B. Yanagi,
S. Young, M. Darienzo, G. Priest, G. Crawford,
and T. Walsh (2005): Progress in NTHMP
Hazard Assessment,. Natural Hazards, 35,
Kelly, A
ation, Department of Commerce,
ation, Department of Commerce,
Pacific ssed Dec. 21, 2006
., L.A. Dengler, B. Uslu, A. Barberopoulou, S.C.
Yim, and K.J. Bergen (2006): Recent tsunami
highlights need for awareness of tsunami
duration, EOS Transactions,
Geophysical Union, 87, 566-567.
J. F. and P.A. Lockridge (1989): United States
Tsunamis (including United States Possessions)
1690-1988. National Geophysical Data Center,
National Oceanic and Atmospheric
J. F., P.A. Lockridge and M.J. Kozuch (1993):
Tsunamis affecting the West Coast of the United
States 1806-1992. National Geophysical Data
Center, National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Tsunami Museum Inc. [acce
f California Governors Office of Emergency
Services (California OES) (2004): Local
planning guidance on tsunami response: A
supplement to the eme
State o
rgency planning guidance
State of
endations on tsunami
., 1

session. Washington: GPO, Apr. 19, 2005.
for local government.
California Seismic Safety Commission (CSSC)
(2005): The tsunami threat to California:
findings and recomm
hazards and risks, pub.
States Senate (2005): Tsunami Preparedness Act,
Report of the Committee on Commerce, Science,
and Transportation on S. 50. 109

2.4.1 Introduction

The subduction of the Cocos Plate along the Pacific
Coast of Mexico makes this region one of the most
active seismic zones in the Western Hemisphere. During
the last century Mexico has had approximately 40 strong
earthquakes. At least 14 of the earthquakes in the last
three centuries were the source of locally destructive
tsunamis with waves from two to eleven meters high.
Aside from the local tsunamis, nondestructive tsunamis
of distant origin have also arrived to the Mexican
Pacific Ocean coast.

Two hazardous zones can be clearly differentiated in the
Pacific Coast of Mexico. All of the local source
tsunamis were generated in the southern part, along the
Middle America Trench, where the Cocos Plate subsides
underneath the North American Plate (Fig. 2.5); some of
them had very destructive local effects. Their wave
heights and coastal effects gradually decreased from the
source to the north and south along the coastline,
becoming even smaller elsewhere across the Pacific
Ocean. The September 19, 1985, and th October 9, 1995
tsunamis are the most recent examples of this
(Pararas-Carayannis, 1985; Farreras and Snchez, 1987;
Ortiz et at., 2000). North of the Rivera fracture, the
Pacific Plate slides northward along the Gulf of
California strike-slip fault with respect to the North
American Plate. As a result of this, Baja California and
the Gulf of California are not a source area of local
tsunamis, but only a recipient of those from distant
source (Fig. 2.6).

Maximum wave height for the nine recorded local
events of the last 39 years at all available tidal gauges
are, with a few exceptions, smaller than 2 meters
(Snchez and Farreras, 1987). This short term
information may be misleading, leading to the erroneous
conclusion that local tsunamis are not a real threat,
while historical information from the last three centuries
indicates just the opposite.

Tectonic source parameters of six Mexican
tsunamigenic earthquakes compared with those of the
large 1960 Chilean and 1964 Alaska earthquakes show
much smaller (1% to 2%) seismic moments; a shorter,
narrower, and deeper submersion of the aftershock
areas; and smaller vertical uplifts (Snchez and Farreras,
1988). This seems to indicate that major Mexican
earthquakes do not have the potential and efficiency to
generate and spread enough energy all across the Pacific
Ocean through large, destructive generated tsunamis.
Historical information, at least until now, confirms this
(After Snchez and Farreras, 1993).

Snchez and Farreras prepared the Catalog of Tsunamis
on the Western Coast of Mexico, a compilation of
information pertaining only to tsunamis of seismic
origin observed and/or recorded in the Pacific Ocean
coast of Mexico from 1732 to 1993. Tsunamis observed
on the East coast of Mexico (Gulf of Mexico and the
Caribbean) are not considered. The earliest observation
date of a tsunami is February 25, 1732, while the earliest
record is dated November 4, 1952. A questionable
tsunami occurred in 1537 but the event is poorly

Fig. 2.6: Seismotectonic setting and predominance of Tsunami
along of the Pacific Ocean coast of Mexico (After Snchez
and Farreras, 1993)

Recorded or observed remote source tsunamis had very
seldom reached more than 2 meters run-up height and
posed no significant threat to the coastal communities.
Since the operation of the tidal gauge network dates
back no more than 40 years, and most of the Pacific
Coast of Mexico, with the exception of a few places like
Acapulco, remained uninhabited until the 1800's,
information on the arrival of this type of tsunamis
during ancient times is limited and unreliable.
Furthermore, the native population either kept no
written records, or the records were destroyed during the
Spanish occupation. The information in the archives of
Seville for this period is neither accessible for a search,
2.4.3 Nationwide Network of Oceanographical And
Meteorological Stations
nor do they have the required financial support to
perform a search. Consequently it was only possible to
document and give a very brief description of four
remote source tsunami arrivals from ancient times for
mentioned catalog. All four of them came from South
America. There is no doubt that other Pacific-wide
macro-tsunamis might have arrived unnoticed.

As part of the process to integrate a proper data set of
information on oceanographic and meteorological data,
which is framed between the strategic activities of the
Program for the Development of Infrastructure Maritime
Port Authority (PRODIMAP in Spanish) and the
Program for Development of Littorals (PRODELI in
Spanish). Both programs undertaken by the General
Direction of Ports of the Ministry of Communications
and Transport, and within which they take the necessary
steps to provide such information to be essential for the
various works related to the better use of port
infrastructure and the Mexican coastlines, the General
Direction of Ports and the Mexican Institute of Transport
have joined a program to develop the Nationwide
Network of Oceanographic and Meteorological Stations
(RENEOM in Spanish).

2.4.2 Tide Gauge Network

The tidal gauge network first started operation in 1952. A
total of 21 different tsunamis events were recorded by the
network from 1952 to 1985 (Fig. 2.6), (about two
tsunamis recorded every three years). However, since
September 1985, only one local large tsunami (October 9,
1995) was recorded in the western coast of Mexico. Nine
of the recorded tsunamis were from local sources, and
twelve came from abroad: two each from the Aleutian
Islands, U.S.S.R., and Peru, and one each from Alaska,
Hawaii, Japan, Chile, Colombia and New Zealand. From
the 69 records mentioned in Fig. 2.7, two of them were
not available to the authors of this catalog for
publication: La Paz Nov 4 1952 and Mazatlan May 22
1960. Figure 2.7 also shows the number of events
recorded by each of the gauge stations (Acapulco has the
maximum: 19).

The program envisages the installation of equipment for
the measurement of waves, sea levels, meteorological
parameters and tsunamis along both, the Pacific and
Atlantic coasts of Mexico. The equipment will operate in
a systematic manner to provide information for multiple

The program for the establishment of the National
Network of Oceanographic and Meteorological Stations
(RENEOM), has been planned in three stages: the first
already developed in 2006 (short term), the second to
take place in 2007 (medium term) and the third stage to
take place in 2008 (long-term).

The design of the monitoring system for tsunamis in
real-time was made during the years 2002-2004 under the
research project "Coastal Response to Local and
Regional Tsunamis, an internal project of the
Department of Physical Oceanography at CICESE,

The system for the real-time high-frequency sea-level
observations consists of a pressure sensor that can be
installed in coastal waters. The instrument operates at
frequency of 16 Hz with resolution of 0.002% of the
depth, which can detect variations of 2 mm of sea level
when the instrument is installed at a depth of 100 meters.
The pressure sensor does not operate with batteries and
has no internal memory. The electric current is supplied
through a robust cable of 4 wires, which in turn enables

Fig. 2.7: Date, gauge location, source type, and number of
tsunami records in existence, in the Western coast of Mexico
(After Snchez and Farreras, 1993)

In Tables 2.3 and 2.4 are presented the chronologies
summaries of local and distant tsunamis recorded or
observed along the Mexican Pacific coast.

digital communication with the instrument via an RS232
serial port connected to a computer (PC). The length of
the cable can be up to 1,000 m. The computer (laptop or
desktop) sends the data via the Internet to one or several
servers responsible for maintaining available the
sea-level data on a web page in real time. This
observation system has been in operation since
September 2004 in the port of El Sauzal, Baja California
(see Fig. 2.8, illustrates
the tsunami observing system.


Ortiz M., V. Kostoglodov, S.K. Singh and J. Pacheco
(2000): New constraints on the uplift of October 9,
1995 Jalisco-Colima earthquake (M
8) based on the
analysis of tsunami records at Manzanillo and
Navidad, Mexico. Geof. Int., 39(4), 349-357.
Sanchez. D. A .J. and S.S.F. Farrera (1993): Catalog of
Tsunamis on the Western Coast of Mexico, World
Data Center A for Solid Earth Geophysics Publication
SE-50, National Geophysical Data Center, NOAA, In
Spanish and English.

6 real-time tsunami observing systems will be installed in
the following ports during the year 2006: Mazatlan,
Puerto Vallarta, Acapulco, Salina Cruz, Puerto Chiapas,
and Manzanillo. 9 of them will be installed in the
following ports during the years 2007-2008: Ensenada,
San Felipe, Guaymas, Topolobampo, Lzaro Crdenas,
Altamira, Coatzacoalcos, Dos Bocas and Campeche.
Montoya. R. J. M. (2005): Programa para el Desarrollo
de la Red Nacional de Estaciones Oceanogrficas y
Meteorolgicas, Instituto Mexicano del Transporte,
Proyecto No. VI 21/2005, in Spanish.

Fig. 2.8: Real-time Coastal Tsunami Observing System
Table 2.3: Chronologic summary of tsunamis of local origin observed or recorded along The Mexican Pacific Coast (After
Sanchez. A. and Farreras. S.).
Date Location Area of Origin Magnitude
Recording place or
Run up Height
Feb.25,1732 Undefined Guerrero Acapulco 4.0
Sep.01,1754 Undefined Guerrero Acapulco 5.0
Mar.28,1787 Undefined Guerrero >8.0 Acapulco 3.0 8.0
Abr.03,1787 Undefined Oaxaca Pochutla
May.04,1820 17.299.6 Guerrero 7.6 Acapulco 4.0
Ma.10,1833 Undefined Guerrero Acapulco N/A
Mar.11,1834 Undefined Guerrero Acapulco N/A
Abr.07,1845 16.699.2 Guerrero Acapulco N/A
Nov.29,1852 Undefiined B. California Ro Colorado 3.0
Dic.04,1852 Undefined Guerrero Acapulco N/A
May.11,1870 15.896.7 Oaxaca 7.9 Puerto ngel N/A
Feb.23,1875 Undefined Colima Manzanillo N/A
Abr.14,1907 16.799.2 Guerrero 8.0 Acapulco 2.0
Jul.30,1909 16.899.8 Guerrero 7.4 Acapulco N/A
Nov.16,1925 18.5107.0 Guerrero 7.0 Zihuatanejo 7.0-11.0
Mar.22,1928 15.796.1 Oaxaca 7.7 Puerto ngel N/A
Jun.16,1928 16.396.7 Oaxaca 7.8 Puerto ngel N/A
Jun.03,1932 19.5104.3 Jalisco 8.2 Manzanillo
San Pedrito
San Blas
Jun.18,1932 19.5103.5 Jalisco 7.8 Manzanillo 1.0
Jun.22,1932 19.0104.5 Jalisco 7.7 Cuyutln
Jun.29,1932 Jalisco Cuyutln N/A
Dic.03,1948 22.0106.5 Nayarit 6.9 Islas Maras 2.0 5.0
Dic.14,1950 17.098.1 Guerrero 7.3 Acapulco 0.3
Jul.28,1957 16.599.1 Aguascalientes 7.9 Acapulco
Salina Cruz
May.11,1962 17.299.6 Guerrero 7.0 Acapulco 0.8
May.19,1962 17.199.6 Guerrero 7.2 Acapulco 0.3
Aug.23,1965 16.395.8 Oaxaca 7.3 Acapulco 0.4
Jan.30,1973 18.4103.2 Colima 7.5 Acapulco
Salina Cruz
La Paz
Nov.29,1978 16.096.8 Oaxaca 7.8 P. Escondido 1.5
Mar.14,1979 17.3101.3 Guerrero 7.6 Acapulco
Oct.25,1981 17.8102.3 Guerrero 7.3 Acapulco 0.1
Sep.19,1985 18.1102.7 Michoacn 8.1 Lzaro Crdenas
Ixtapa Zihuatanejo
Playa Azul
Sep.21,1985 17.6101.8 Michoacn 7.5 Acapulco
Table 2.4: Chronologic summary of tsunamis distant (after 1950) origin recorded along The Mexican Pacific Coast (After
Sanchez. A. and Farreras. S.)

Date Location Origin Magnitude (MS) Recording place Run up Height (m)
Nov.04,1952 52.8 N, 159.5 E Kamchatka 8.3
La Paz, B. C.
Salina Cruz, Oax.
Mar. 09, 1957 51.3 N 175.8 W Aleutian Is. 8.3
Ensenada, B. C.
La Paz, B. C.
Guaymas, Son.
Topolobampo, Sin.
Mazatln, Sin.
Acapulco, Gro.
Salina Cruz, Oax.
< 0.1
< 0.1
May 22, 1960 39.5 S, 74.5 W Chile 8.5
Ensenada, B. C.
La Paz, B. C.
Guaymas, Son.
Topolobampo, Sin.
Mazatln, Sin.
Acapulco, Gro.
Salina Cruz, Oax.
Nov. 20, 1960 6.8 S, 80.7 W Peru 6.8 Acapulco, Gro. 0.1
Oct. 13, 1963 44.8 N, 149.5 E Kuril, Is. 8.1
La Paz, B. C.
Mazatln, Sin.
Acapulco, Gro.
Salina Cruz, Oax.
< 0.1
Mar. 28, 1964 61.1 N, 147.6 W Alaska 8.4
Ensenada, B. C.
La Paz, B. C.
Guaymas, Son.
Topolobampo, Sin.
Mazatln, Sin.
Acapulco, Gro.
Salina Cruz, Oax
< 0.1
Feb. 04, 1965 51.3 N, 19.5 E Aleutian Is. 8.2
Acapulco, Gro.
Salina Cruz, Oax.
Oct. 17, 1966 10.7 S, 78.6 W Peru 7.5 Salina Cruz, Oax. 0.2
May. 16, 1968 41.5 N, 142.7 E Japan 8.0
Ensenada, B. C.
La Paz, B. C.
Mazatln, Sin.
Manzanillo, Col.
Acapulco, Gro.
< 0.1
Nov. 29, 1975 19.4 N, 155.1 W Hawai 7.2
Ensenada, B. C.
Isla Guadalupe, B.
Cabo San Lucas, B. C.
Loreto, B. C.
Manzanillo, Col.
Puerto Vallarta, Jal.
Acapulco, Gro.
Salina Cruz, Oax
Jan. 14, 1976 29.0 S, 178.0 W Kermadec 7.3
Cabo San Lucas, B. C.
Manzanillo, Col.
Puerto Vallarta, Jal.
Acapulco, Gro.
Salina Cruz, Oax
Dec. 12, 1979 1.6 N, 79.4 W Colombia 7.9 Acapulco 0.13

2.5.1 Tsunami Potential

Indonesia is located at the convergence of three main
tectonic plates: the Eurasian, Indo-Australian and
Pacific Plates. The Indo-Australian plate sub-ducts
beneath the Eurasian plate along the Sunda Arch as part
of a greater arc system in the Indian Ocean. Beyond the
Sunda Arch, the Banda sector continues eastward,
where the oceanic arc collies with the Indo-Australian

All around Indonesia are sub-duction zones where the
large scale, slow cycle of land is driven by the rivers
flowing down mountains coupled with the deep Earth
heat driving the plate movements from below. On the
perimeter, converging plates slowly store energy
resulting it many small, shallow seismic events and the
occasional deep earth, high energy event. The
concentrated Earth energy flows (sun, tide and deep
earth heat) converge on the Islands of Indonesia
resulting in much active land building especially by
volcanic activity.

The sudden release of large amounts of stored energy
(as friction) when two plates shift across a broad area
caused the catastrophic Aceh Tsunami on 26 December
2004. This giant tsunami was the result of the high
intensity, sub-sea Sumatra Earthquake that impacted
coastal areas not only in NAD (Nangroe Aceh
Darussalam) and North Sumatra provinces of Indonesia
but also as far a field as Malaysia, Thailand, Sri Lanka,
India, Maldives, and Africa.

Other examples of tsunami disasters in the last two
decades in Indonesia include Flores (1992) with more
than 1950 dead, East Java (1994) with 240 reported
deaths, Palu (1996) with 3 lives lost, Biak (1996) with
107 reported deaths, Banggai (2000) with 4 deaths,
West Java (2006) with 668 deaths, and Bengkulu (2007)
(no data on losses).

Indonesia has been affected by Tsunami since recorded
history. There are records of more than 100 such
events over the last 400 years (Latief et .al, 2000).
These records indicate that between 1600 and
November 2007 there have been 109 tsunamis. This
suggests energy of earthquakes and subsequent tsunamis
increasing with time interval between earthquakes and a
recorded tsunami approximately once every four years.
The data suggests that frequency has increased in the
last half century although it is not certain if this is
because of better records and monitoring or reflects
greater seismic activity. Certainly the potential for
impact of coastal communities has increased greatly in
that time. From 1960 - November 2007 there have
been 22 significant tsunamis. This indicates that the
frequency of tsunamis is around one in every two years.

Some of Indonesian coastal areas of highest potential
risk by tsunami include: the West coast of Sumatra,
South coast of Java, South coast of Bali, North and
South coast of Nusa Tenggara, islands of Maluku, North
coast of Papua, and most of Sulawesi (Celebes) coast
(Fig. 2.9).

While the speed and scale of the 2004 tsunami was one
main reason for the loss of life and property;
non-disaster focused land use planning, lack of
awareness, lack of infrastructure for tsunami prevention,
no warning system, and the deterioration of the coastal
environment also played their part. In the worst hit
Aceh region, many buildings were found to have been
constructed without compliance to the relevant sections
of the building code for earthquakes and tsunami. Other
implicating factors included: houses built very close to
the sea; no greenbelts, and only remnants of the original
mangroves and coastal forests remaining.

Pacific Plate
Pl t
--- Potential Tsunami Indo-Australian Plate

Fig. 2.9: Potential tsunami in Indonesia

The Tsunami disaster in Indonesia caused widespread
damage and suffering as the ensuing Tsunami wave
impacted on the coastal zone. An estimated 300,000
lives were lost. The tsunami run-ups were reported
higher than 30 m. As Aceh is relatively close to the
Earthquake epi-centre off the coast of Sumatra and the
velocity of the Tsunami wave was very fast, there was
little time for alert and evacuation. In the wake of the
soul searching in the months after the catastrophe it was
concluded that although Indonesians are now more
aware of the danger posed to population centres located
in coastal areas more needs to be done to pass on
information about Tsunamis and how one may more
away from the main danger area.

Ulee Lheue Port
Figure 2.11 show satellite views of Banda Aceh port
before and after the earthquake. As noticed from the
comparison of two satellite views, a huge area was
damaged by the tsunami and was settled, eroded and
scoured due to probably ground liquefaction induced by
ground shaking as well as due to the tsunami waves. The
ground consists of sandy soil in this area. It is also of
great interest that some parts of the dykes of the harbor
disappeared. Besides the effects of liquefaction, the flow
direction of tsunami waves might have some damaging
effects on the missing section of the dykes.

2.5.2 Damage to Ports and Coastal Facilities due to
2004 Aceh (Sumatera) Tsunami

At 08:07 a.m. local time on December 26, 2004, there
occurred a great earthquake whose epicenter was located
off the western coast of northern Sumatra Island at
magnitude of 9.0. The quake itself of the earthquake at
Banda Aceh, which is the closest city, was estimated
five upper or so on the Japanese intensity scale by the
Meteorological Agency, but the plate faultline, which is
more than 1,000 km long and which extends from off
the coast of northwestern Sumatra Island to the
neighborhood of the Andaman Nicobar Islands, slipped,
and it generated a great tsunami with waves exceeding
20 meters in height. The damage caused by the tsunami
affected the whole Indian Ocean area, which turned out
to be one of the deadliest natural disasters in human
history with more than 200,000 people with missing and
dead combined.

(1) Before the earthquake

(2) After the earthquake
Fig. 2.10: Investigated area (Northern part of Sumatra
Fig. 2.11: Satellite views of Ulee Lheue port before and after
the earthquake
Tsunami induced heavy damage to ports and coastal
facilities along the west and north coast of Sumatra
Island. Figure 2.10 shows the investigated facilities
around Banda Aceh area. The coastal area of Banda
Aceh is consists of alluvial flat area around -0.45m to
+4.5m from mean sea water level. Most of area bellow
the mean sea water level is using as aquaculture ponds.
The plan view of Ulee Lheue port is shown in Figs.
2.12 and 2.13. The residential area is protected by
rubble stone (2,000kg-3,500kg) revetment with gentle
slope as shown in Fig. 2.14. The severe damaged
missing area between residential area and the ferry
terminal is using as small boat/fishery boat access port
with submerged breakwater as shown in Figs. 2.13 and
Small boat

Ulee Lheue port
Ferry terminal
Pile supported wharf
Power generator barge
Residential area revetment
Submerged breakwater

Fig. 2.13: Plan view of the revetment and the submerged
breakwater (Traced drawing of the picture provided by
Departemen Permukiman dan Prasarana Wilayaha,
Direktorat Jenderal Sumber Daya Air, Detail Design Panttai
Syiah Kuala Kota Banda Ache,2003)

Fig. 2.12: Plan view of Ulee Lheue Port (Traced drawing of
the picture provided by Departemen Permukiman dan
Prasarana Wilayaha, Direktorat Jenderal Sumber Daya Air,
Detail Design Panttai Syiah Kuala Kota Banda Ache,2003 )
Residential Area Revetment
Submerged Breakwater

The RC building of the port facility collapsed at the
ground floor as seen in Fig. 2.10. However, the main
cause of collapse was ground shaking rather than the
tsunami waves.

Large stone blocks were thrown by the tsunami waves
over the wharf of the port as seen in Fig. 2.12. However,
as shown in Fig. 2.11, just behind the stone rubble
revetment at residential area was disappeared. During
construction procedure the revetment, naturally
deposited sandy dyke was excavated and put stone
rubble, then, remolded as shown in Fig. 2.14 top. The
remolded water pluvial sand layer should be liquefied
during the earthquake motion.
Fig. 2.14: Cross section of revetment and submerged
breakwater (Traced drawing of the picture provided by
Departemen Permukiman dan Prasarana Wilayaha,
Direktorat Jenderal Sumber Daya Air, Detail Design Panttai
Syiah Kuala Kota Banda Ache,2003)

The pile supported wharf for ferry boat has no damage
during the earthquake motion and the tsunami.
However, two pieces rubble (2,000kg-3,500kg)
appeared on the deck as shown in Photo 2.19 due to the
tsunami wave.

Photo 2.19: Pile supported wharf for ferry boat

Although the dolphin for a barge with a power generator
was not damaged by the tsunami as seen in Photo 2.18,
the barge (Photo 2.20) was displaced from the dolphin
to a distance of 3 km inland.

Photo 2.20: Dolphin for a power generator barge

Photo 2.21: Power generator barge

The RC building of the port facility collapsed at the
ground floor as seen in Photo 2.22. However, the main
cause of collapse was ground shaking rather than the
tsunami waves because of the second floor with slightly
damaged columns(Photo 2.23) was survived during the
tsunami waves. The ferry terminal building which RC
pile-deck structure without shear walls collapsed at
ground floor columns acted as a base isolation system,
the second and top floors were survived.

Photo 2.22: Ferry terminal (crushed 1

Photo 2.23: Ferry terminal (2

Port for the Cement Factory
The port facility for the cement factory was also
damaged by the tsunami. The 5m height trapezoidal
cross section shaped gravity type parapet was
overturned as shown in Photo 2.24. Totally, three blocks
were overturned, two blocks of the parapet were
overturned outside direction of the port and other one
was overturned opposite direction. To investigate the
overturned scenario, detail consideration of the layout of
the parapet and tsunami wave action should be needed.

Photo 2.24: Damaged seawall at cement factor

Photo 2.25 shows the damage of pile supported wharf
due to the capsized ship impact force during the
tsunami. A pile supported wharf showed good
performance during tsunami waves in Ulee Lheue Port,
however, it must be considered drifting objects impact
force against the structures.

Photo 2.25: Damaged pile supported wharf at cement factory

From the site observation/investigation of Banda Aceh
coastal area facilities, following findings are
(1) It was quite difficult to distinguish between
damages of port/coastal area facilities caused by the
earthquake motion and by the tsunami wave action.
Significant damages were caused by scour away
phenomenon and impact force of drifting objects
during the tsunami. However, the possibility of
double action effect by the earthquake motion and
tsunami wave should be considered.
(2) The pile-deck structures such as pile supported
wharf, pile supported dolphin and the ferry terminal
pile-deck structures (pilotis style) showed good
performance during tsunami wave.


2.6.1 Lessons Learned from Extreme Storm Wave

The failure, in the late seventies and early eighties, of
many large rubble mound breakwaters under extreme
wave attack led to the careful examination of physical
processes of wave-structure interaction. It was
established that the interaction of waves with a rubble
mound breakwater results in a complex flow pattern
involving unsteady, two phase flow. Such flow
generates equally complex force fields. Basic research
findings have highlighted some of the related factors
which have contributed to the failures of rubble mounds.
Although most of the failures related to breakwaters
armoured with large concrete units, these findings are
equally applicable to breakwaters armoured with rock.
Such structures are widely used in Sri Lanka for the
construction of breakwaters for fishery harbours and
revetments for coast protection.

Investigations have revealed that failures were not due
to one particular reason and that several different factors
contributed to these disasters. However, it was widely
accepted that breakwater designers have been engaged
in excessive extrapolation beyond experience without
recognizing the limits of the existing state of the art of
the traditional breakwater design. Among the important
issues identified with failures included following,
Under estimation of the design wave climate
Inadequate understanding of the
hydro-geotechnical aspects of wave action and
flow through porous structures
Poor assessment of wave induced loads and
resulting force domain
Factors leading to the sudden collapse of slopes
Need to understand the inter-relationship among
different failure modes (i.e. clear understanding
of the fault tree)
Limitations of adopting standard hydraulic
model investigations for the total design

Research findings have led to the review of design
procedures, development of new concepts and further
examination of alternative design practices. . One such
alternative is the use of dynamically stable berm
breakwaters which seems to have a number of
advantages and have not been used in Sri Lanka.

2.6.2 Lessons Learnt from Tsunami Wave Attack

The Indian Ocean Tsunami of December 2004 caused
widespread damage to coastal structures and
breakwaters around the island. The type of hydraulic
regime generated by the tsunami was considerably
different to that of extreme storm wave attack. Many
breakwaters were completely overtopped by the highest
wave with a large mass of water flowing over the
breakwater as the long period tsunami wave moved
forward to inundate the coastal zone. The water level of
the incoming wave would have been several meters
higher than the crest level. For the rest of waves of the
tsunami wave cycle breakwaters were subjected to
overtopping and a force regime more on the lines of
extreme wave attack.

On investigating the damage caused to breakwaters it is
evident that although considerable damage took place
they have performed reasonably well in withstanding
the hydraulic and force regime imposed by the tsunami
wave cycle. In comparison with the tsunami wave
heights observed along the coastline, greater damage
could have been expected. Perhaps this could be
explained by the characteristics of the tsunami wave.
The high amplitude tsunami waves of very long period
have propagated over the breakwaters located in deep
water and imposing a velocity and force regime of the
different components. This type of attack is different to
continuous high amplitude wave attack on breakwaters
as witnessed in the presence of storms. It is evident that
breakwaters have certainly dissipated part of the wave
energy of the incoming tsunami wave while incurring
damage. This is evident by comparing the damage of
buildings inside the harbours under the shadow of the
breakwater and those of similar buildings outside the

Field investigations were conducted along the western
and southern coasts to investigate the manner in which
breakwaters of fishery harbours and coastal structures in
the near vicinity of the harbours had performed during
the tsunami. The extreme conditions which these
structures are usually subjected to are the storm waves
under monsoonal conditions. The damages arising from
the tsunami follow a very similar pattern and can be
categorized as follows.

1. Breakwaters and coastal structures were
severely damaged on the harbour side (lee side).
This is mainly due to heavy overtopping of
tsunami waves arising from mass flow of water.
The lee of breakwaters is only designed for
wave overtopping and not for such large scale
overflow of varying height. In the case of storm
overtopping the designs are such that the spray
falls on the water behind. At certain times of the
tsunami wave cycle the water level would have
been very much higher than the crest of the
breakwaters. As the water level drops the flow is
more in the form of overflow over a weir and
that too in both directions corresponding to the
incoming and receding waves. It is not
surprising that large scale overtopping has
caused that type of damage at the lee of the

2. The asphalt paving on the crest of breakwaters
were severely damaged due to the force regime
imposed by the tsunami waves. Most
breakwaters have such paving for stability and
for vehicular movement for maintenance. This
layer usually withstands storm overtopping well.
But with its removal it is not surprising that
armour too had displaced exposing the interior.

3. On the sea side considerable armour had
displaced in the vicinity of the mean water level.
Armour stones in the vicinity of the sea level are
usually prone to extreme storm wave attack and
have been displaced on many occasions.
Tsunami waves would have easily displaced
such armour which are prone to movement
under normal operating conditions.

4. It is important to emphasize to that long waves
such as tsunamis have very high penetration
characteristics and exhibit high internal
transmission coefficients when propagating
through porous rock armoured structures.
Longer the wave, the transmission
characteristics are high even when the porosity
is considerably lower. In the case tsunami waves
such transmission takes place in both directions.
Therefore waves can destabilize primary and
secondary armour and can erode the core if the
porosity is relatively high.

5. Another aspect of tsunami waves is the high
velocities it generates at the seabed. This can
cause considerable changes to the bottom
bathymetry including areas near the base of
structures. Erosion at the toe may have occurred
in the case of breakwaters and this could only be
examined by underwater surveys. Changes in
the bottom bathymetry can lead to changes in
the wave regime thus imposing greater loads on
structures in the post tsunami scenario.

6. By the time tsunami waves reaches the coastline
the wave height has increased considerably and
therefore the impact on the portion of
breakwaters near the shoreline and coastal
revetments were similar. Structures have been
under severe force regimes and armour units
have been displaced, some moving several
meters inland. Parts of structures at a higher
elevation than the supporting ground behind had
moved backwards due to the dynamic forces
resulting from overflow and armour blocks
dispersed in several directions. The armour
blocks would have caused considerable damage
to houses and infrastructure.

In the light of above discussion the use of berm
breakwaters seemed worthy of investigation in the Sri
lankan context. The chapter focuses attention on the
underlying concepts relating to berm breakwaters in
relation to other types of rock armoured rubble mound
breakwaters. For this purpose a broad classification is
made in relation to static and dynamic stability, classes
of stones in mass armour etc. The chapter presents the
results of a detailed hydraulic model investigation on a
dynamically stable berm breakwater. The experimental
programme was conducted using large scale physical
models to minimize scale effects and was designed to
obtain a complete profile of the hydraulic performance
and energy dissipation characteristics of the structure.
The results are discussed in the context of economical
design, improved hydraulic performance and long term
stability. The performance of the breakwater was
investigated under varying conditions including extreme
conditions which could generated under laboratory
conditions. This enabled the investigation of critical
aspects of the hydraulics of wave structure interaction of
rubble mound breakwaters.

2.7.1 Introduction

The devastating Indian Ocean tsunami on December 26,
2004 has instantly changed the state of natural disasters
in Thailand. Historical records prior to the event had
shown that in the past century there had been 7 tsunamis
in the Indian ocean, none of which developed into a
destructive tsunami, except the one in 1883 which was
caused by volcanic eruption of Krakatoa and killed
around 36000 people in Indonesia
( 2005). The lack
of historical records of destruction by tsunamis on Thai
coastlines made the public, and even most academics, be
unaware of the possibility of tsunamis occurring along
the coasts of the country. Consequently, the country was
not prepared for the hazard, leading to great losses.

2.7.2 The disaster
The destructive Indian Ocean tsunami was caused by an
unprecedented earthquake in the region, with a moment
magnitude Mw of 9.0 (generally believed to be in the
order of 9.2 at present). The epicenter was located at
3.3 N and 95.9 E, which is off the west coast of Banda
Aceh, North Sumatra Island, Indonesia (Fig. 2.16).
According to the United States Geological Survey
(USGS), the earthquake was triggered by the India plate
subducting into the Burma plate, causing the sea bed to
rise by several meters ( 2005). The
earthquake, whose surface rupture was about 600 km
from Phuket in southern Thailand, was lightly felt and
caused no structural damage to buildings in southern
Thailand, although some non-structural cracks in infill
masonry walls in some high-rise buildings were
reported by the media.

However, the sudden movement of a huge body of
ocean water generated waves which became tsunamis of
about 5 m in height along the western coasts of Phuket
(Fig. 2.16(a)), and 12 m in most parts of Phang Nga,
except in few locations where the height reached as
high as 16 m. On Phi-Phi Don island south-east of
Phuket where tsunami waves attacked from both bays, a
tsunami height of 6 m was recorded. Fig. 2.16(b) depicts
tsunami height versus distance from shorelines at two
locations in Phang-Nga and Phuket, with relatively high
and moderate tsunami heights, respectively (Siripong et
al. 2005). The ground level is also shown in the same
figure. The tsunami heights were measured by ground
surveying with reference to official benchmarks. The
procedure outlined in the Intergovernmental
Oceanographic Commission (1998) post-tsunami survey
field guide was followed in the measurements
(Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission 1998).

Due to the insufficiency of seismographs, the lack of
tsunami monitoring equipment, and the lack of tsunami
experts, the impending occurrence of the tsunami was
not realized. Consequently, no early warning was issued.
More than 5,300 people were killed, and about 3,000
people were missing in Thailand
( 2005). The total fatalities
exceeded 230,000 in all the affected regions, the worst
caused by a tsunami in recorded history.

Fig. 2.16: Epicenter of Sumatra Earthquake on December 26,
2004 (USGS).

Bangniang Village, Khaolak,
Distance from shoreline

Patong Beach, Phuket.
Distance from shoreline (m)

Fig. 2.16: (a) Site map of affected areas in southern
Thailand; (b) Tsunami height (with reference to mean sea
level) vs. distance from shorelines.

2.7.3 Local Design and Construction Practice

Reports on buildings damage due to natural disasters
would almost be of no technical significance if the
standard of design and construction of the buildings
investigated are not considered. Obviously buildings
with different design standards perform differently
under the same action.

The southern Thailand has been regarded as a
non-seismic-prone region. Buildings have not been
designed for earthquake loading, not to mention
tsunamis. According to the Ministerial Regulation No. 6
B.E. 2527 (Ministry of Interior 1984) for overall
building resistance, a relatively low wind loading of 0.5
kPa is specified for the lower 10 m and 0.8 kPa for the
next 10 m (for low rise buildings).

Reinforced concrete (RC) buildings generally feature
small columns. Small amount of column ties is typically
provided as shown in Fig. 2.17 (e.g. 6-mm-diameter ties
at 150-200 mm spacing for 150 to 200 mm square
columns). Un-reinforced infill masonry panels,
generally 100 mm thick, are extensively used as non-
structural elements, with small amount of dowel bars
connecting the panels and the boundary RC frames. The
ultimate compressive strength of concrete in buildings is
normally in the order of 18-24 MPa. Reinforcing bars
usually have yield strengths of 240 MPa for plain bars
and 300 MPa for deformed ones. Bricks and mortars are
of extremely low quality since they are used as non-
structural elements.

Fig. 2.17: Typical column detailing

2.7.4 Observed Damages

A detailed account of damage to buildings in southern
Thailand has been reported by Lukkunaprasit and
Ruangrassamee (2008). Only ports and related facilities
are covered in this document.

(1) Retaining structures and foundations
Because of the enormous wave force, retaining walls
and embankments were damaged in many locations
(Figs. 2.18(a) and (b)). Failure of retaining walls led to
scouring of subgrade of pavements (Fig. 2.18(a)), or
scouring of sand supporting spread footings of several
buildings in Kamala, Phuket and Phang-Nga, leaving
the foundations floating (Fig. 2.18(b)). The scour depths
were observed to be 1.0-1.3 m in Phuket, and as much
as 2.5 m in Khao Lak (Hiraishi 2006).

Buildings along waterways tend to be subjected to a
large wave force since the waves could flow easily
through the water channels. Failure of foundations such
as the case shown in Fig. 2.19 was not uncommon. This
suggests that future buildings near waterways should be
supported on pile foundations, or else their spread
footings should be embedded deeper into the soil than
presently practiced.



Fig. 2.18: (a) Subgrade failure resulted from collapse of
retaining walls caused by scouring (Kamala, Phuket); (b)
Supporting sand underneath footings scoured away as a result
of collapse of retaining walls (Kamala, Phuket)

Fig. 2.19: Foundation failure of a building near waterway
(Takua Pa, Phang Nga)

(2) Ports
In Phang-Nga, a fishing port in Ban Nam Kem Village
suffered excessive damage under tsunami height of
around 6.4 m. Besides the beam-column joint failure
(Fig. 2.20), the precast RC slabs forming the pier deck
were severely damaged by the enormous uplift pressure
not accounted for in the design of the deck, with
extensive cracks due to reversed moments and pull-out
from the support of some slab members. Some damaged
portions of the deck were displaced by the strong
current as evident in Fig. 2.20. Tying down the precast
slabs to the supporting beams would add to
complications in construction. Furthermore,
reinforcement would have to be provided to account for
the uplift water pressure. Therefore, precast RC slabs
are not recommended, in general.

The pier deck of a port for sea transportation in Tab
Lamu near the Phang-Nga Navy Base was in good
condition. The adjacent building facilities and power
poles, however, were damaged as can be seen in Fig.



Fig. 2.20: Damage to pier deck on Ban Num Kem Port: (a)
joint failure; (b) failure of precast concrete slabs

Fig. 2.21: Tab Lamu Tourist port in Phang-Nga.

2.7.5 References 2005. 2005. 2005.
ACI Committee 318 (2005): Building code requirements
for structural concrete (ACI318-05) and
commentary (318R-05). American Concrete
Institute, Michigan.
Dalrymple, R.A., and D.L. Kriebel (2005): Lessons in
engineering from the tsunami in Thailand. The
Bridge, National Academy of Engineering, Vol. 35,
No. 2, 4-16.
Hiraishi, T. (2006): Tsunami hazard mitigation, Lecture
note. Tokyo Institute of Technology and
Chulalongkorn University joint distant learning
Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (1998):
Post-tsunami survey field guide. UNESCO.
Lukkunaprasit, P. and A. Ruangrassamee (2008):
Building Damage in Thailand in the 2004 Indian
Ocean Tsunami and Clues for Tsunami Resistant
Design. IES Journal A: Civil and Structural
Engineering Vol. 1, No. 1, 17-30.
Ministry of Interior (1984): Ministerial Regulation No. 6
(B.E. 2527), Thailand.
Siripong, A., B.H. Choi, and C. Vichiencharoen (2005):
Post Indian Ocean tsunami run-up surveys and its
usefulness in Thailand. Workshop on Indonesian
Ocean Tsunami 2005 and the 13th PAMS/JECSS
Meeting, Bali, Indonesia.

2.8.1. Overview of Earthquakes and Tsunamis in
Eastern Mediterranean and Their Effects on Turkish

The general view of topography and bathymetry of the
Mediterranean basin is given in Fig. 2.22.
Mediterranean Basin is consisted of the Mediterranean
Sea, Aegean Sea, Black Sea and the Sea of Marmara.
With the opening of the Suez Canal (1869) the
Mediterranean resumed its importance as link on the
route to the East.

Turkey is located in Anatolia and Thrace at Eastern
Mediterranean. There are numerous earthquakes and
tsunamis that occurred in Eastern Mediterranean and are
documented in historical records. These earthquakes and
associated tsunamis in history in the Mediterranean Sea
seem as the precursor of the future similar events. The
fault zones around eastern Mediterranean basin are
Hellenic Arc, North Anatolian Fault Zone (NAF), East
Anatolian Fault Zone (EAF), Cyprus Arc, and Dead Sea
Fault. At the centre of the Aegean Sea there is a series of
volcanic systems almost parallel to the trench and
forming the internal arc (Milos, Antimilos, Antiparos,
Santorini, Christiana, Colombus, Kos, Yali, Nisiros and

The coastal areas at the Eastern Mediterranean Basin
have experienced tsunamis many times in history. The
generation mechanisms and their characteristics have
not been well described. According to the historical
information, or distribution of fault zones, volcanoes,
and other probable tsunamigenic sea bottom
deformations, there are numerous source areas which
may be considered responsible for those tsunamis.

Fig. 2.22: General view of topography and bathymetry of the
Mediterranean basin

The comprehensive tables of tsunamis in Eastern
Mediterranean are given in Altinok and Ersoy (2000),
Papadopoulos et. al., (2007) by using the data from
historical documents (Table 2.5). According to Altinok
and Ersoy (2000), Papadopoulos, (2001), Yalciner et. al.,
(2006a), Papadopoulos et. al., (2007), Taymaz et. al.
(2007), during the last 36 centuries at least 96 tsunamis
were documented in the Eastern Mediterranean. Among
those, the tsunami in 365 was one of the most important
tsunamis in Eastern Mediterranean and was widely
effective from Sicily and Libya at east and South west
of Turkey, Syria and Egypt (Stiros, 2003, Shaw et. al,
2008). A sample figure showing the propagation of
365 tsunami simulated by NAMI DANCE, according to
the rupture parameters given in Shaw et. al., 2008, is
given in Fig. 2.23.

Fig. 2.23: Propagation of 365 Tsunami in Easten
Mediterranean (at times 0min., 30min, 60min., 120min)

Table 2.5: List of Historical Tsunamis near Turkey (produced
from Altinok and Ersoy, 2000 and Papadopoulos et. al., 2007)

No Date Coastal Region
1 BC 1300 anakkale (Dardanelles)
2 68 Demre, Patara- Lycia
3 120/128 Kapda Peninsula, Iznik,
4 142 Fethiye Gulf, Rhodes, Kos,
Seriphos, Syme Islands
5 261-262 South coasts of Anatolia
6 325 Izmit Gulf
7 344 anakkale (Dardanelles)
Region, Thracian Coasts
8 358.08.24 Izmit Gulf, Iznik, Istanbul
9 365.07.21 East Mediterranean, Crete,
Greece, Libyan, Sicilian,
Alexandria, West Anatolia
10 368.10.11 Iznik and its surrounding
11 407.04.01 Istanbul
12 447.11.08 Marmara Sea, Istanbul, Izmit
Marmara Isl.,Marmara &
anakkale (Dardanelles)
13 450.01.26 Marmara Sea, Istanbul
14 477/480.09.24/2
Gelibolu, Istanbul, anakkale
(Dardanelles), Izmit,
15 488.09.26I Izmit Gulf
16 524/525 South coasts of Anatolia,
17 529 winter Thracian coasts of
18 542 winter West coast of Thracia,
Bandrma Gulf
19 543.09.06 Kapda Peninsula, Erdek,
20 553.08.15 Istanbul, Izmit Gulf
21 554.08.15 South west coasts of Anatolia,
Kos Isl., Mandalya Gulf
22 555.08.15/16 Istanbul, Izmit Gulf
23 557.12.14 Istanbul, Izmit Gulf
24 715 Istanbul, Izmit Gulf
25 740.10.26 Marmara Sea, Istanbul, Izmit,
Iznik Lake
26 803.12.19 skenderun Gulf
27 859.11 Syrian coasts and Near
28 975.10.26 Istanbul, Thracian coasts of
29 989 Istanbul, Marmara Coasts
30 990 Istanbul, Marmara Coasts
31 1039.02.06 Istanbul, Marmara Coasts
32 1064.09.23 Iznik, Bandrma, Mrefte,
33 1114.08.10 Ceyhan, Antakya, Mara
34 1157.07.15 Hama-Homs, Chaizar Region
35 1202.05.22 Cyprus, Syrian coasts, Egypt
36 1222.05,11 Paphos, Limasol-Cyprus,
37 1304.08.08 East Mediterranean, Rhodes,
38 1332.02.02 Marmara Sea, Istanbul
39 1344.10.14 Marmara Sea, Istanbul,
Thracian coasts, Gelibolu
40 1389.03.20 zmir , Chios ve Lesvos Isls.
41 1403.11.16 South coasts of Anatolia,
Syrian Coasts
42 1481.05.03 Rhodes, South west coast of
Anatolia, Crete
43 1489 South coasts of
44 1494.07.01 Harekleion-Crete
45 1509.09.10 Istanbul , Marmara Coasts
46 1577.07.11 Istanbul
47 1598 Amasya, Corum
48 1609.04 Rhodes , East Mediterranean
49 1612.12.08 North of Crete
50 1644 stanbul
51 1646.04.05 stanbul
52 1659.09.29 Santorini Patmos, SikinosIsls.,
Northern Crete
53 1667.11.30 Izmir Gulf
54 1672.02.14 Bozcaada, Kos Islands
55 1688.07.10 Izmir Gulf
56 1741.01.31 Rhodes
57 1751.08.15 Istanbul
58 1752.07.21 Syrian coasts
59 1754.09.02 Izmit Gulf, Istanbul
60 1766.05.22 Istanbul, Marmara Sea
61 1822.08.13 Antakya, Iskenderun, Kilis
62 1829.05.23 Istanbul, Gelibolu
63 1851.02.28 Fethiye, Kaya-Mula, Rhodes
64 1851.04.03 Fethiye Gulf
65 1851.05.23 Rhodes, Dodecanese
66 1852.05.12 Izmir
67 1852.09.08 Izmir
68 1855.02.13 Fethiye Gulf
69 1856.11.13 Chios Island
70 1866.0131 Santorini Island
71 1866.02.02 Chios Islands
72 1878.04.19 Izmit, Istanbul, Marmara Sea
73 1878.05.10 Izmit, Istanbul,Bursa
74 1886.08.27 North Peloponnessus, Pylos,
75 1893.02.09 Northern Aegean Sea,
Samothrace Islands, Thracian
coasts, Alexandroupolis
76 1894.07.10 Istanbul
77 1926.06.26 Rhodes, South west of Turkey,
Archangelo, Fethiye,
Karpathos, Harakleon
78 1928.03.31 Izmir
79 1939.12.26-27 Fatsa-Black Sea
80 1948.02.09 Karpathos-Dodocanese
81 1949.07.23 Eastern Aegean Sea, North
Chios Isl.
82 1953.09.10 South coasts of Turkey
83 1956.07.09 Southern Aegean, Amorgos,
Astypalaea Islands
84 1963.09.18 Eastern Marmara, Yalova,
Karamrsel, Armutlu,
Mudanya, Gemlik
85 1968.02.19 North Aegean Sea
86 1968.09.03 Amasra-Black Sea

Fig. 2.24: Earthquake epicenters (M>4) since 1900 and the
approximate regions of possible tsunami sources in Eastern
Mediterranean near Turkey (+ indicates epicenters,
indicates the earthquakes Magnitude M> 7, ellipses indicate
the approximate regions of possible tsunami sources around

At present, 40% of the coastline of Anatolia is inhabited
and there are 19 major ports located along Anatolian
coast. Those ports are distributed near the Black Sea
(Rize, Trabzon, Giresun, Ordu, Samsun, Eregli, Filyos,
Zonguldak), the sea of Marmara (Istanbul- Karakoy,
Istanbul-Haydarpasa, Ambarli, Derince, Tekirdag,
Bandirma), Aegean sea (Canakkale, Izmir) and
Mediteranean sea (Antalya, Mersin, Iskenderun). The
number of small scale harbors, marinas, fishing ports,
marine facilities, piers and coastal access structures are
more than 180.

The coastal locations around Anatolia have been used by
civilizations for the numerous millenniums. The coastal
cities and their access to the sea were the harbors.
Throughout the history the locations of those cities and
harbors were used by the next civilizations. The coastal
areas were not so densely populated and utilized in the
past when the tsunamis in history have occured.
Therefore the effects of the historical tsunamis are
limited only with the populations near the coasts.
The affected areas of Anatolia by historical tsunamis
(Table 2.5) and the distribution of the possible sources
of tsunamis around Anatolia (Fig. 2.23) and the recent
status of coastal utilization around Anatolia show that
any future tsunami will be much more effective on the
Anatolian coast when compared with the historical ones.

1999 Earthquake has generated a tsunami in Izmit bay.
This tsunami and its effects on the marine facilities in
Izmit bay are given in the following for comparison and
estimation of the effects of possible future tsunamis
(Yuksel et. al. 2003, Altinok et. al. 1999, 2001, Tinti et.
al., 2006, Yalciner et. al. 1999, 2000)

The seismo-tectonic characteristics of Mediterranean
Sea are given in Section 2.9. The distribution of the
earthquake epicenters (M>4) is given in Fig. 2.24. In the
Figure, the possible sources of co-seismic tsunamis are
also shown as ellipses (Kuran, Yalciner, 1993, KOERI,
2004, Yalciner et. al. 1995, 2002a,b, 2006a,b, 2007)

1999 Izmit Earthquake and Tsunami
The Izmit earthquake (00:01:39.80 UTC, August 17

1999) of magnitude Mw=7.4 occurred with a macro
seismic epicenter near the town of Golcuk (40.702N,

29.987E). According to field data from field surveys,
the characteristics of Izmit tsunami has been described
in detail by Yalciner et al. (1999), Altinok et al. (1999)
and Yalciner et al. (2000). Along the northern coast of
Izmit Bay, in the central basin between Hereke and
Tupras Industrial Plant, the tsunami had the form of a
leading depression wave. The runup heights ranged
from 1.5 to 2.6m, and decreased to high water levels
within 4km east of Tupras and 10km west of Hereke.
The first wave arrived along the north coast a few
minutes after the earthquake, and had a period of about
one-minute. The hardest hit areas were Sirinyali,
Kirazliyali, Yarimca Korfez, and Tupras. The wave
carried mussels into houses and damaged doors and
windows. At the locality Korfez near Yarimca, the
inundation distance ranged up to 35m. There were clear
watermarks on the wall of the police station in Hereke,
and at the Denizkosku restaurant near Korfez.
Eyewitnesses reported that the wave arrived at
Kirazliyali from the southeast and at Korfez from the

Along south coasts between Degirmendere and
Guzelyali, run-up heights were measured in the range of
0.8 to 2.5m, and decreased to high water levels within
6km east of Golcuk, location 20, and 10km west of
Guzelyali. The tsunami was observed as a leading
depression wave to the west of Kavakli up to Guzelyali.
The wave was noticed immediately after the earthquake.
There was significant coastal subsidence in addition to
slumping of the Cinarlik Park near Degirmendere. The
subsided area extended 250m along the shore and 70m
perpendicular to shore, and included two piers, a hotel, a
restaurant, a coffeehouse and 14 large trees. The sea was
observed receding about 150m in less than 120 seconds
near Degirmendere. When the sea came back, it flooded
up to 35m inland, as indicated by the mussel, and dead
fishes left in this inundation area.

The damages caused by this tsunami on the major
marine structures and ports (Derince port, Tupras oil
refinery marine terminal, and Karamursel Eregli fishing
harbour) in Izmit Bay are described in the following.

Derince Port:
Derince Port is the largest port in the area, with about
1.5 km of waterfront structures and with eight wharves.
It is located near Izmit and serves about 600 ships per
year, loading about 2 million t/year of general cargo.
Also 5500 TEU/year containers were handled in the port.
General-purpose shore cranes of 35 tons capacity are
used to handle containers. There are eight wharves in
Derince port. Wharves 1 and 2 are the oldest wharves
and not in service. Wharves 3 and 4 serve for grain
unloading, wharves 5 and 6 serve for Ro-Ro operations,
and wharves 7 and 8 serve for handling of container and
general cargo. A piled-type container quay has been
constructed recently at a 12 m water depth near wharf 6.
The Turkish Grain Production Directorate handles the
grain production, and the General Directorate of Turkish
Railways operates the other terminals at Derince Port.
Both are governmental organizations. The water depths
are 4 m, 6 m and 12 m at wharves 8, 7 and 6
respectively. The water depth deepens to 15 m in front
of wharves 14. The sedimentation rate could be
determined as approximately 2 m in 8 years in front of
wharves 6 and 7. The water depth is the same as project
depth at about 80 m away.

Marine terminal at Tupras
TUPRAS is the largest oil refinery in Turkey, with a
capacity of 11.5 million t/year (417% of the total
capacity in Turkey). There are three different piers and
dolphins for berthing ships of tonnages between 10 000
dwt and 85 000 dwt. Two piers in the terminal were
made of inclined concrete piles with prefabricated
beams on top. A secondary fault near Kiler point was
near this terminal and caused damage to the marine
structures. As observed in the field surveys, there were
cracks around the conjunction between the piles and

Karamursel Eregli fishing harbor
A small fishing harbor is located at the southern coast of
Izmit Bay in Eregli village near Karamursel town. It was
13.5 km away from the epicenter. It had a 230 m long
rubble-mound breakwater constructed with 26 t (50%)
and 0402 t (50%) of quarry stones for the armor layer
and 50 200 kg of stones for its core layer. The total
length of quays is 75 m and the water depth is 2 m
inside the port basin. According to the measurements
after the earthquake, the breakwater settled
approximately 1.5 m along its entire axis. Cracks were
observed in the reinforced concrete quay wall, and it
was displaced about 10 cm towards sea where the
backfill material had settled.

2.8.2 References

Altinok, Y., B. Alpar, S. Ersoy, and A.C. Yalciner
(1999): Tsunami generation of the Kocaeli
Earthquake (August 17th 1999) in the Izmit Bay:
coastal observations, bathymetry and seismic data,
Turkish J. Marine Sci., 5, 130-144.
Altinok, Y. and S. Ersoy (2000): Tsunamis observed on
and near Turkish Coasts, Kluwer Academic
Publishers, J. Natural Hazards, 185-199.
Altnok Y., S. Tnt, B. Alpar, A.C. Yalner, S. Ersoy, E.
Bertolucc, A. Armglato (2001): The tsunami of
August 17, 1999 in Izmit Bay, J. Natural Hazards
and Earth System Sciences, the Internatonal
Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of
Natural Hazards, ISSN 0921-030X NATURAL
HAZARDS Kluwer Academic Publishers, 24(2),
KOERI (2004): Earthquake Database of Bosphorus
University, Kandilli Observatory and Earthquake
Research Institute (KOERI), the link of Earthquake
Kuran, U. and A.C. Yalciner (1993): Crack propagations
Papa . Fokaefs, N.
earthquakes and tsunamis in the vicinity of Anatolia,
Tsunamis in the world, Advances in Natural and
Technological Hazards Research by Kluwer
Academic Publisher, Ed. Stefano Tinti, 159-175.
dopoulos, G.A. (2001): Tsunamis in the East
Mediterranean, A catalogue for the Area of
Greece and adjacent seas. In: Proc. Joint
IOC-IUGG Internat. Workshop Tsunami Risk
Assessment Beyond 2000: Theory, Practice & Plans,
Moscow, June 14-16, 2000, 34-43.
dopoulos, G.A., E. Daskalaki, A
Giraleas (2007): Tsunami hazard in the Eastern
Mediterranean: Strong Earthquakes and Tsunamis
in the East Hellenic Arc and Trench System,
Natural Hazards & Earth System Science, 7:5764.
B., N.N. Ambraseys, P.C. England, M.A. Floyd,
G.J. Gorman, T.F.G. Higham, J.A. Jackson, J.M.
Nocquet, C.C. Pain and M.D. Piggott (2008):
Eastern Mediterranean tectonics and tsunami
hazard inferred from the AD 365 earthquake,
Nature Geoscience
XX Month March, 2008; doi:10.1038/ngeoXXXX
s, C.S., (2003): The AD 365 Crete Earthquake and

Kurkin, A.C. Kozelkov, A.I. Zaitsev (2002b): A
tsunamis in the Black Sea: comparison of the
historical, instrumental and numerical data. J.
Geophys. Research, 109(C12), C12023
iner, A.C., H. Karakus, U.
Taym alciner (2007):
Tint ucci, G. Pagnoni, F.
Yalc ran, A. Akyarli and F. Imamura
Yalc nok, P.
Yalc , Y. Altinok and C.E. synolakis (2000):
Yalc I. Ozbay, F.
Yalc G. Talipova, A.A.
Yalc Kuran (2006a): Modeling possible seismic clustering during the fourth to
sixth centuries AD in the Eastern Mediterranean, A
review of historical and archaeological data, J.
Structural Geology, 23, 545-562.
az, T., S. Yolsal, A.C. Y
Understanding tsunamis, Potential source regions
and tsunami-prone mechanisms in the Eastern
Mediterranean, from the geodynamics of the
Aegean and Anatolia, (Eds. Taymaz. T, Ylmaz Y.,
Dilek Y.), Geological Society, London, Special
Publications, 291, 201-230.

S., A. Armigliato, A. Man
Zaniboni, A.C. Yaliner, Y. Altinok (2006): The
generating mechanisms of the August 17, 1999
Izmit Bay (Turkey) tsunami: regional (tectonic) and
local (mass instabilities) causes, Marine Geology,
225, 311-330.
iner, A.C., U. Ku
(1995): An investigation on the generation and
propagation of tsunamis in the Aegean Sea by
mathematical modeling, Chapter in the Book,
"Tsunami: progress in prediction, disaster
prevention and warning", in the book series of
Advances in Natural and Technological Hazards
Research by Kluwer Academic Publishers, Ed.
Yashuito Tsuchiya and Nobuo Shuto, 55-71.
iner, A.C., C.E. Synolakis, J. Borrero, Y. Alti
Watts, F. Imamura, U. Kuran, S. Ersoy, U. Kanoglu
and S. Tinti (1999): Tsunami generation in Izmit
Bay by the Izmit Earthquake, Proc. ITU-IAHS Int.
Conf. Kocaeli Earthquake 17 August 1999,
iner, A.C.
Tsunami waves in Izmit Bay, Chapter 3, In:
Earthquake Spectra, The Professional Journal of the
Earthquake Engineering Research Institute,
Supplement A to Volume 16, Kocaeli, Turkey,
Earthquake of August 17, 1999 Reconnaissance
Report, edited by T.L. Youd, J.P. Bardet, J.D. Bray,
Publication Number 2000-03, 55-62.
iner, A.C., B. Alpar, Y. Altinok,
Imamura (2002a): Tsunamis in the Sea of Marmara:
historical documents for the past, models for future,
Marine Geology, 190, 445-463.
iner, A.C., E.N. Pelinovsky, T.
of tsunamis in the Eastern Mediterranean and
comparison with Caribbean, Caribbean Tsunami
Hazard, World Scientific, Eds: Mercado A. And Liu
P. L. F., ISBN 981-256-535-3, 326-340.
Yalc urkin, C. iner, A. C., E. Pelinovsky, A. Zaytsev, A. K
Ozer and H. Karakus (2006b): NAMI DANCE
Manual, METU, Civil Engineering Department,
Ocean Engineering Research Center, Ankara,
Turkey (
iner, A.C., E. Pelinovsky, A. Zaytsev, A. Ku Yalc rkin, C.
Yk E. evik O.
Ozer and H. Karakus (2007): Modeling and
visualization of tsunamis: Mediterranean examples,
from, Tsunami and Nonlinear Waves (Ed: Anjan
Kundu), Springer, 2007, 2731-2839.
sel, Y, B. Alpar, A.C. Yaliner,
zgven, and Y. elikoglu (2003): Effects of the
Eastern Marmara Earthquake on the marine
structures and coastal areas, Institute of Civil
Engineers, Water and Marine Eng. June, Issue
WM2, 147-163.

2.9.1 Overview of Tsunamis and Their Disasters in
Greek Ports

Seismotectonic characteristics of eastern
Mediterranean Sea
A prime factor for tsunami generation is the seismicity
of the sea region under consideration, as well as the
focal depth of the earthquake. The eastern
Mediterranean basin rests over the boundaries of three
main lithospheric plates that can give shakings of
intensities ranging over the full Richter scale (Fig. 2.25).
It is noted that the Aegean Sea plate is moving
southwest at a rate of 3cm/year, while the Africa plate
sinks under the former at a rate of 4cm/year. The prime
underwater zone of stress accumulation that extends
along the contact zone between these two tectonic plates
follows an arc-like path to the west and south of Greece
(see Fig. 2.24). In general, earthquakes to the northwest
of Crete, the large island to the south of the Aegean Sea,
are produced at reverse or strike-slip fault lines, whereas
those to the east of Crete are generated at normal or
strike-slip faults. During the 20
century the maximum
magnitude of quakes that could possibly generate
tsunamis along the above so-called Hellenic arc reached
7.2. Historic sources show that the earthquakes of 365,
1303 A.D. with epicenters close to Crete might have
been far stronger than any other quake generated along
this arc during the past century. In other places with
similar tectonic characteristics with the Hellenic arc,
shakings have been generated of magnitude 8 or even
stronger (Ziogas, 2005). Tsunamis originated at this arc
are, among others, those dealt in 2.9.4 (Falassarna) and
2.9.5 (SW Asia Minor).

Fig. 2.25: Simplified delineation of the lithospheric plates in
eastern Mediterranean

In general, the seismic activity in the area is quite high
even in worldwide terms. Figure 2.26 gives a general
impression of the seismicity in the eastern
Mediterranean basin as compared to that in adjacent
areas. This figure contains also some information on the
hypocenter depth of the recorded earthquakes, a factor
to be considered in tsunami generation as mentioned
earlier. It can be seen that most of the earthquakes
occurred have a relatively small focal depth, i.e. less
than 40 km.

Shallow shocks are also generated along the Volcanic
arc, related again to the subduction zone between the
Africa and the Aegean Sea plates, dominated by the
volcano of Thera (Santorini) responsible for the great
eruption and tsunami of 1628 B.C. (2.9.2), as well as
that of 1650 A.D. (2.9.6).

Fig. 2.26: Seismicity and focal depths (in km) around the

A close-up of the Aegean Sea area, the most
earthquake-prone region of the Mediterranean, is given
in Fig. 2.27, where shocks of minimum magnitude 4
occurred the last 10 years are plotted.

Fig.2.27: Shocks during the last 10 years, (USGS)

The boundary between the Eurasia and Aegean Sea
plates is not clear-cut. Seismicity is concentrated along
deformation zones with eastern or northeastern direction.
Those of eastern direction produce normally shocks of
maximum magnitude 7, one of which was probably
responsible for the tsunami of 426 B.C. In the past
century one underwater shock of magnitude 7.2 was
generated at the fault with northeastern direction (see

Many researchers (e.g. Galanopoulos, 1967;
Comninakis, 1975) have concluded that around the
Greek territory the seismic zones giving shallow
earthquakes are concentrated in two areas:

the outer seismic zone, running along the
Hellenic arc from Albania to western Greece,
then passing along the island of Crete to the
Dodecanese and southwestern Turkey
the inner seismic zone, that contains many
smaller seismic subzones in the area under
A large part of the above zones falls under sea, thus
providing potential sites for tsunami generation. Such
characteristic potential sites are shown in Fig. 2.28.

Fig. 2.28: Areas of potential tsunami generation
(Papadopoulos and Chalkis, 1984)

Same areas of increased potential risk are the following:

i. Kythira straits on the west part of the Hellenic
Arc, between Crete and Peloponnese. Several
strong undersea earthquakes generating
damaging tsunamis have been originated in the
past from this area. One of those disastrous
tsunamis, occurred 365 A.D., is dealt with in
ii. A major potential mechanism for tsunami
generation lies with the volcanic region around
Thera (Santorini) in the southern Aegean Sea.
Tsunamis associated with this mechanism are
triggered by either earthquakes as the recent one
in 1956 (2.9.7) or by volcanic eruptions as in
1628 BC (2.9.2) or 1650 A.D. (2.9.6).
iii. The Gulf of Corinth, to the North of
Peloponnese, as well as Maliakos Gulf in
Central Greece, constitute potential
tsunamogenic regions giving mainly landslides
that may be induced by earthquakes of medium
intensity. One such event, occurred in 426 B.C.,
is described in 4.9.3.

Sea ports and their operations
Greece is a small Mediterranean country with an
abundance of populated islands that need to be serviced.
It also possesses one of the longer coastlines in the
world with respect to its size. Greeks have been
navigators for more than 3000 years. Nowadays they
control one of the larger, if not the largest, merchant
fleet of the world.
Furthermore, effective fetches are limited for most
coastal locations due to the presence of the very many
islands. Thus significant wave heights lie normally
between 3.5 m and 5.5 m for most critical wind
conditions. Finally Greek waters, being part of the
Mediterranean Sea, are ecologically sensitive and thus
special attention should be given to the construction and
operation of port works as well as to accident

The main maritime routes in the vicinity of Greece are
shown in Fig. 2.29. Route 1 accounts for most of the
traffic in the area and crosses the Mediterranean W-E
from Gibraltar to Suez and vice versa passing south of
Crete; a smaller leg, la, feeds Israel, Lebanon and
Cyprus. Route 2 connects Black Sea ports with
transatlantic territories, while route 3 connects with the
Indian Sea and the Far East. Both these routes cross the
Aegean Sea. Finally, route 4 connects Adriatic ports
with the eastern world along the Ionian Sea to the west
and south of Greece.

Four more or less independent port sub-systems can be
identified with respect to international sea transport
(Memos, 1998):

(a) The Northern Gate Ports handling mainly Eastern
European cargo. Referring to the coastal connections, it is emphasized
that a very dense network of navigation lines has to be
sustained to service the many islands of the Aegean and
Ionian Seas. Some of these lines are shown in Fig. 2.30
where the dots mark the main ports that support such
traffic. Large passenger liners, around L
=180m, are in
service, along with smaller boats and some flying
dolphins for shorter distances.
(b) The Western Gate Ports supporting ro-ro
movements to/from the EU via Italy.
(c) Ports of the N-S axis distributing cargo to the
(d) Ports well posed for transshipment.

Fig. 2.29: Main routes of ocean navigation around Greece

The sea around Greece presents, also, some distinct
features. Firstly, the waters are virtually non-tidal,
facilitating thus the design of port works. The difference
between highest and lowest astronomical tide is around
1.00m for many locations, while the minimum tidal
range is only 0.01m. Secondly, the circulation of Greek
waters is mainly wind-driven, while a general
circulation of larger scale follows a counterclockwise
pattern most of the time.
Fig. 2.30: Main ports and coastal connections (Source:
Doxiadis Assoc.)

The majority of the bulk cargo throughput is handled
through industrial ports of the greater Athens area, as
well as through some ports of northern Greece. It is
noted that an oil-gas extraction platform is in operation
offshore Kavala port, in the northern Aegean.
Installations for the reception of LNG are built on an
islet of the Saronic Gulf close to Piraeus. In the
shipbuilding sector there are 4 units operating in Greece
along with a ship repair industry located close to Piraeus

The transshipment of unitized cargo is carried out at
present in Piraeus port near Athens, Igoumenitsa and
Patras in western Greece undertake the ro-ro traffic to
Italy and Europe, while Alexandroupolis expanded to
assist Thessaloniki in handling East-European cargo.

Greece is an ideal place for sport and pleasure
navigation with its many islands, mild weather and
beautiful scenery. However, building of well equipped
marinas lags behind demand. Plans do exist according to
which 30.000 more berths are needed in addition to the
6.000 berths operative at present. Eight large marinas
are envisaged, up to 1500 berths each, 46 medium-sized
with up to 500 berths each, and 65 small ones of 150
berths each. The existing legal framework allows public,
private or local authority ownership of the marinas.

There are, however, standing problems of Greek ports
hindering their expansion.

(a) A fundamental difficulty is associated with the
development of Greek ports through history,
forming a focal part of coastal conurbations,
subsequently surrounded by a zone of ever
increasing pressure for space in modern cities.
Thus free space for development is quite sparse
close to traditional ports, a problem met in other
parts of the world as well.
(b) Another major problem refers to the lack of proper
hinterland connections. Road links run normally
through urban areas resulting in increased
obstruction and pollution. Rail links are, almost
(c) The need to protect the natural and cultural
environment of the area poses in many cases
requirements of high cost.

In addition to the above problems, there are issues
common to the majority of Greek ports that hinder their
efficient operation, such as a complicated
administrative framework, lack of mechanical
equipment, low standard of maintenance to both
installations and equipment. Breakwaters and wharfs
are virtually not maintained and many underwater
inspections reveal that the majority of gravity quay
walls suffer from inclination to the vertical, wide joints,
undertoe erosion, etc. This latter problem is induced
mainly by the propeller action of ro-ro vessels and
ferries, that call quite frequently at all Greek ports.

Most existing port structures, as well as new ones have
been designed in the conventional Greek practice, i.e:
breakwaters, either rubble mounds with
armouring of quarrystone, or vertically
faced, formed by concrete blocks resting
on a mound
quay walls of the gravity type with precast
blocks and a minimum of fender

Currently a limited number of non-conventional designs
are being applied, such as decks on piles, precast units
of special form, etc. Since Greece lies in a seismic
region, the design of quay walls, reduces in many cases
in the trade-off between economy and safety.

Tsunamis and their disasters
The Mediterranean is surrounded by vulnerable coasts
and belongs to a region of high seismic activity, with
most events originating in the eastern basin. According
to NOAA about 1/3 of all tsunamis with intensity I4
(defined through the maximum uprush) have been
produced in the Mediterranean.

In Greek and adjacent regions of the eastern basin,
tsunamis have been generated through the centuries.
During the period 479 B.C. to 2000 A.D. 70 tsunamis
due to strong earthquakes have been reported. This gives
roughly one such event per 4 earthquakes of magnitude
M6.5, or one tsunami every 35 years on average. The
17 out of 70 events in the abovementioned period
induced damages to coastal areas, i.e. a damaging
tsunami occurred in the region under consideration
every 145 years on average. Five additional destructive
tsunamis are known to have occurred before 479 B.C.
(Papadopoulos and Chalkis, 1984).

A catalogue of tsunamis in the area of Greece and
adjacent seas can be found in Papadopoulos (2000).
From that list it can be seen that:

(i) nearly 90% of all tsunamis are generated by
earthquakes. This figure is compared to a
percentage of about 80% on a worldwide basis;
(ii) earthquakes that generate tsunamis are of
magnitude higher than 5.2, while the most
probable magnitude for tsunami generation falls
around 7.0;
(iii) the focal depth of these earthquakes is less than
70km in all but three cases;
(iv) four tsunamis are associated with eruptions of the
Thera volcanos in south Aegean Sea.

Information about the damages incurred by tsunamis in
the area under consideration is very scanty. This applies
even more for data related to damages in harbours and
vessels. The events for which some indications or
concrete evidence exist for the latter damages are listed
in Table 1. Tsunamis #1,2,3,4,8,10 are dealt in some
detail in the following sections.

Table 2.6: Damages to Greek ports and vessels by tsunamis
# Date Location of harbour, etc Damage incurred
Zakros NE Crete
Harbours destroyed
along with Minoan
fleet Amnissos
2 -426
Gulf of
2-3 triremes
washed ashore;
turrets and harbour
walls fell down
along with people
into the sea
3 365
Falassarna Crete
Harbour became
obsolete (due also
to sea bottom rise)
Large vessels
washed ashore
4 554 Kos & SW Asia Minor Vessels damaged
5 1481 Rhodes
Moored ship in
harbour broke its
cables and crashed
6 1494 Herakleion Crete
Moored vessels
smashed in harbour
7 1612 N. Crete
Sailing or moored
vessels damaged in
large numbers
8 1650
Herakleion Crete
Moored vessels
sunk in harbour
Sailing vessels
washed ashore
9 1821 Patras
Port severely
10 1956
South Aegean islands
Many vessels
Small dockyards
damaged, concrete
blocks carried
away and damaged
Katapola Amorgos
Quaywall and port
Lakki Leros
Commodities and
cargo carried away
Jetty and quaywalls
Jetty 15m
destroyed. Crest
inclined at 45

Jetty and
Cargo in port
Ikaria Wooden wharves
Naxos Pier head damaged
11 1963
Gulf of Corinth Vessels damaged
Trizonia Quaywalls were

Also, in adjacent waters:
# Date Location of harbour, etc Damage incurred
1 62 Ostia Rome
200 vessels sunk in
2 551 Votrys Palestine
Many vessels
3 1344
Vessels smashed
4 1644
136 vessels washed

2.9.2 The Tsunami due to the Thera
Volcano-Eruption, 1628 B.C.

There is an island in southern Aegean in eastern
Mediterranean with an active volcano on it. The most
violent of the latters eruptions occurred around 1628
B.C. followed by the sinking of 83 km
of land, forming
probably the most renown caldera with nearly 500m
vertical cliffs. The eruption and the massive landslides
generated a tsunami of initial wave height of the order
of 30m (Antonopoulos, 1992a). This tsunami traveled
over the Aegean reaching the island of Crete to the south,
after about half an hour from its generation. Crete was at
that time the centre of the Minoan Civilization that
declined about a century after this devastating event.
Archaeological evidence point to the fact that several
harbours along the NE coast of Crete were destroyed
along with the famous Minoan fleet. Estimates of the
wave characteristics supported by research results on the
pumice released by the volcano and spread all over the
Aegean, give wave height offshore Herakleion harbour
more than 12m and celerity 100 km/hr . The travel time
to the North Cretan coast should have been about 35
min. It is held by many scientists that this eruption of
extreme violence, surpassing that of Krakatoa in 1883,
is responsible for destroying the Minoan naval power as
well as various coastal settlements and harbour towns
such as Amnissos, Katsamba, Nirou Khani, Gournia. It
should also had halted the trade activities of the empire
and disrupted the islands agricultural economy for more
than 10 years, due to the ash layer that covered the

2.9.3 The Tsunami in the Maliakos Gulf, Eastern
Greece, 426 B.C.

During the summer of 426 B.C. shocks were taking
place in eastern Greece, north of Attica, following the
major earthquake of 427 B.C. One of these shocks
formed a tsunami of considerable size in the Maliakos
Gulf, between the island of Euboea and the mainland.
Its intensity along the mainland coast is estimated at i=v
after Siebergs modified intensity scale (Antonopoulos,
1992b). These earthquakes caused various
morphological changes along the coasts of northwestern
Euboea and the mainland, along with the destruction of
several towns in the area. From the available evidence it
seems that the cause of the tsunami should have been a
crustal movement along a fault at the axis of the Euboea
gulf. As a result, part of the Euboean cost subsided
permanently. According to Strabo (Geographica I, 3.20)
the ensuing tsunami caused severe damage upon many
places, as e.g. in Alponon the towers and walls of the
harbour fell, sweeping many people into the sea. Also,
in Atalanta, Lokris, a trireme was lifted out of its shed
and cast over the walls. Two more triremes were
transported 3km inshore.

2.9.4 Tsunami due to the Subsea Earthquake at the
Southern Ionian Fault, 21 July 365

On 21 July 365 A.C. an earthquake originated at the
western part of the Hellenic arc, between Crete and
Peloponnese, destroyed many places in Crete among
which the famous Knossos (Antonopoulos, 1980). The
associated tsunami produced damages in coastal
locations as far as Sicily, the Adreatic coasts and
Alexandria in Egypt. In the latter, ships were carried
over the great walls and left in the city streets. In other
places, as in the Adreatic, ships were washed ashore. In
Methone, southwestern Peloponnese, some large vessels
were driven two miles inland (Amminanus Marcellinus,
Hist. Rom. lib. xxvi, 10.15-19). In some places the
coast was inundated for some 12 miles. Five thousand
people perished in Greece among those trying to collect
sea-life from the exposed sea bottom before the next
wave attack.

Among the coastal settlements damaged, the Falassarna
harbour, western Crete, became obsolete due also to the
sea bottom rise of several metres.

2.9.5 Kos Island and SW Asia Minor, August 554

In 554 A.C. an earthquake from the eastern part of the
Hellenic arc (36.5
E) damaged a lot of cities
among which Tralles (Aidin), Kos, Nicomedia (Izmid)
and Antiocheia (Antakije), while it was felt as far as
Constantinople (Istanbul) and the Middle East
(Antonopoulos, 1980). The associated tsunami flooded
the south coasts of Asia Minor (Turkey) and advanced
over one mile inland carrying ships along with it
(Cedrinos, P. 384d). It also struck most fiercely the
island of Kos perishing whatever remained standing in
the island city after the earthquake (Agathios, libr. II, 16,
P. 53).

2.9.6. Tsunami due to a Volcanic Eruption, Thera, 29
September 1650

On 29 September 1650, following a series of strong
shocks started on September 14, a destructive
earthquake on Thera island, south Aegean, was followed
by a long-lasting submarine explosion via a crater 4
miles off the northeastern coast of the island. The
volcanic eruption produced a huge shoal that triggered a
tsunami of intensity i=vi at Thera, that gave high waves
at the coasts of many Aegean islands, e.g. on the island
of Ios waves of up to 16m high were reported
(Antonopoulos, 1980). The eastern coast of Thera was
inundated to a width of 3.5km at places. On the island of
Kea sailing ships were carried into the interior and many
moored vessels were washed ashore along the coasts of
Crete, while smaller boats were sunk in Herakleion

2.9.7 The South Aegean Tsunami, 9 July 1956

On 9 July 1956 an earthquake of magnitude 7.8
occurred with an epicenter near the southeastern coast of
Amorgos island, South Aegean. It was followed by a
severe tsunami originated at 36
12E and
produced probably by a series of landslides on the steep
banks of the submarine trench of Amorgos (Ambraseys
1962). Many islands of the Archipelago suffered severe
damage. The wave runup varied from 2.7m at Tinos up
to 30m at the coast of Amorgos.

In the town of Pothea, Kalymnos island, the wave height
was 2.5m on land and residential blocks in the harbour
as well as light shipbuilding installations 100m inland
were badly damaged (Antonopoulos, 1980). Concrete
blocks for harbour repairs were carried away. Over
thirty fishing boats and one large sailing ship were
smashed on land.

At Porto-Scala, Astipalaia island, the first wave was
4.5m high and surged 400m into town. A large number
of fishing boats were crashed on shore and debris was
carried over 450m inland. During the event a ship was
spotted racing due south having lost control. At Livadi
on the south coast of the same island, twelve fishing
motorboats were sunk.

At Katapola, Amorgos island, the wave, 2.5m high,
caused considerable damage to harbour works. Four
large ships were thrown against the quay and four others
were wrecked on shore. The quaywall was damaged and
the apron settled. One more boat at the NE coast of the
island was lost. In Kastro, Antiparos island, the concrete
blocks for a length of 15m of the quaywall were washed
away leaving the crown slab unsupported and inclined at
. Other parts of the pier settled considerably. Three
motorboats and a small boat were severely damaged,
while a motorboat was crashed on rocks 15m inland.

In Lipso harbour the wharf and pier were demolished
and harbour facilities were severely damaged. Boats
were carried away and sunk. In Lakki, Leros island,
goods stored on the wharves were taken away by the
waves. Ten fishing boats were destroyed. In Finiki bay,
Karpathos island, the tsunami was so severe that it
demolished the breakwater and anchorage. In Ios island
many boats as well as oil containers of 500kg-1500kg
each were transported by the wave. In Sikinos island 4
boats were damaged. In Tinos island the breakwater was
partly damaged, some sheds were flooded, and a small
boat was lost.

Along the north coast of Crete the tsunami had also a
damaging effect. In Palaiokastro, on the northeastern
coast a boat was destroyed. In Siteia harbour 80 empty
barrels resting on the pier were lifted away, of which 7
were lost. Two more boats in the vicinity were also lost.
In Herakleion harbour the customs warehouses were
inundated, while a boat of the harbour authority was

In Emporeio, Kassos island, a rowing boat and a
motorboat were damaged. In Mandraki, Nissyros island,
damages were inflicted upon houses and stores in the
harbour area. Ten boats and some small motorboats
were also damaged. In Agios Kyrikos, Ikaria island, the
wave partly damaged the wooden port wharves. In
Naxos island the head of a new pier was torn apart and a
boat was totally destroyed.

2.9.3 References

Antonopoulos, J. (1980): Data from investigation on
seismic Sea-waves events in the Eastern
Mediterranean from the Birth of Christ to 1980
A.D., Annali di Geofisica, Vol. XXXIII, No.1.
Antonopoulos, J. (1992): The Great Minoan Eruption of
Thera Volcano and the ensuing tsunami in the
Greek archipelago, Natural Hazards, 5, 153-168.
Antonopoulos, J. (1992): The tsunami of 426 BC in the
Maliakos Gulf, Eastern Greece, Natural Hazards, 5,
Comninakis, P.E. (1975): A contribution to the
investigation of the seismicity of the area of Greece,
Ph.D. Thesis, Geology Dept., Univ. of Athens.
Galanopoulos, A.G. (1967): The seismotectonic regime
in Greece, Annali. Geofis., 20(1), 109 - 119.
Memos, C.D. (1988): Navigation in Greece, , Bulletin
PIANC, 98, 29 - 37.
Papadopoulos, G.A., B.J. Chalkis (1984): Tsunamis
observed in Greece and the surrounding area from
antiquity up to the present times, Mar. Geol., 56,
Papadopoulos, G.A. (2000): Tsunamis in the East
Mediterranean: A catalogue for the area of Greece
and adjacent seas, International Tsunami Workshop,
Moscow, 14-18 June 2000.
Ziogas, V., (2005): Tsunamis and model application to
SE Aegean, Dipl. Thesis, NTUA.



3.1.1 Triggers of Tsunamis

Tsunami is a series of water waves which are caused by
any large and abrupt deformation of the sea surface.
Tsunamis are generated by energy transfer to the ocean
at a locality by any impulses. The impulses are in
general caused directly or indirectly to the earthquakes;
Submarine fault breaks (ruptures), submarine or
subaerial landslides, volcano eruption, caldera collapse,
or impacts of objects from outer space (such as
meteorites, asteroids, and comets). The size and
intensity of the tsunami wave depends on the size and
the impact of the source mechanism which displaces the
water column. Ninety percent or more of historical
tsunamis in the world have been generated by
earthquakes in the sea and coastal regions. In general, a
larger and shallower-hypocenter earthquakes cause
larger tsunamis. The Indian Ocean Tsunami on 26
December 2004 was also generated by M9.3 earthquake,
which remained a water mark of 49 m above the sea
level on nearby coast of the epicenter and killed more
than 220,000 people totally along rim countries of the
Indian Ocean.

Other triggers of tsunami generation are a volcanic
eruption, massive sediment inflow induced by a
landslide, sea bottom deformation by an underwater
landslide, falling of a meteor and other impacts except
for meteorological triggers. The tsunami striking Papua
New Guinea on 17 July 1998 remained water marks of
tsunami flooding with height of more than 10 m,
resulting in more than 2000 dead. Since the earthquake
magnitude of 7.0 is small relative to the degree of
damage, it seems there is another generation mechanism
of the tsunami. It is the sliding of massive underwater
sediment caused by the earthquake.

In the case of earthquake-generated tsunamis, the water
column is disturbed by the uplift or subsidence of the
sea floor. In the case of surface waves generated by the
underwater landslides, are governed by different
parameters that describe the landslide geometry and
kinematics. Brief information about these mechanisms
are given in the following.

3.1.2 Generation Mechanisms

Earthquakes following large tsunamis are generated in
subduction zones where tectonic plates are forced to
plunge below other plates. The most active subduction
zone lies along the Pacific Ring of Fire, as shown in Fig.
3.1. In the Indian Ocean, the Indo-Australian plate is
being subducted beneath the Eurasian plate at its east
margin, and the Indian Ocean Tsunami was generated in
part of the subduction zone.

M9.5, 1960

M9.2, 1964
M9.1, 2004

M9.0, 1952
M8.8, 1906

Fig. 3.1: Tectonic plate boundaries, significant earthquakes
from 2150 B.C. to 2007 and largest earthquakes since 1900.
The significant earthquakes meet at least one of the following
criteria: Moderate damage (approximately $1 million or
more), 10 or more deaths, Magnitude 7.5 or greater, Modified
Mercalli Intensity X or greater, or the earthquake generated a
tsunami. Courtesy of National Geophysical Data Center,
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S.A.,
( The largest
earthquakes since 1900 are listed by U.S. Geological Survey

When an earthquake occurs under the sea, part of the sea
floor is raised and subsided widely depending on the
fault mechanism of the earthquake (see Fig. 3.2). The
deformation creates a similar displacement of sea
surface above the deformed sea floor, since the sea
water depth is generally much less than a horizontal
scale of the displaced area. For example, the mean water
depth is 4 km in the Pacific Ocean and in contrast the
horizontal scale of sea bottom deformation by the
earthquake reaches some hundred kilometers in general.
Since the sea bottom is suddenly deformed and the
induced horizontal movement of sea water is less, the
sea surface is similarly deformed as the sea bottom.
Such s surface displacement forms an initial profile of
tsunami. The height of the surface displacement is a few
meters or less in general.

Subduction zone in a plate boundary

Sudden sea floor displacement
by earthquake

Fig. 3.2: Tsunami generation by earthquake in subduction

There is an unusual earthquake that produces a large
tsunami relative to the earthquake magnitude. Such
earthquakes are called tsunami earthquake. Typical
characteristic of them is longer rupture duration than
would occur in normal earthquakes. Earthquakes may
cause deformation (rupture) on the earth surface. The
shape of the rupture (length, width, strike angle, focal
depth, displacement, dip angle, rake angle) at the sea
bottom controls the shape of the tsunami source (initial
wave) on the water surface.

There are three major features of the earthquakes:
moment, mechanism and focal depth.
Moment (Mo) measures the strength of an earthquake
and specifies the dimensions of the rupture. Moment is
the product of rigidity of the material at the source
region, fault area A, and average displacement of the
Mechanism specifies the orientation of the rupture and
the direction of the slip on it. Usually, ruptures are
idealized as rectangular planes. Three angles summarize
the earthquake mechanism: the strike angle (the
direction of the fault axis, clockwise from North), dip
angle (inclination angle of the rupture plane from
horizontal after break), rake angle (angle of the slip
vector from horizontal). However earthquakes that
affect large vertical displacements of the seafloor would
be more effective than faults that make large horizontal
displacements. The earthquake mechanism (rupture
characteristics) causing larger dislocation on the ground
surface controls the tsunami source characteristics (size
and height of the tsunami initial wave).
Earthquake focal depth is the distance (in vertical
direction) between hypocenter and epicenter. Smaller
focal depth causes larger displacement on the ground
surface (rupture area). Presumably, shallow earthquakes
would produce higher potent tsunamis than similar deep
earthquakes. The speed of the rupture processes is also
another parameter. It must also be considered that slow
rupture processes are insufficient to excite high
frequency seismic waves and also tsunamis.

3.1.3. Tsunami Excitation by Submarine Landslides

Earthquakes can directly generate tsunamis. In some
cases, earthquake shaking may trigger submarine and/or
subaerial landslides and indirectly generate tsunamis.
The sliding of the accumulated material on the slopes of
narshore or submarine volcanoes are other examples.
The total volume of the landslide material is one of the
major parameters which affect the amplitude of the
landslide generated tsunamis even though several other
parameters also play important roles on this problem.
Some of these factors are in the following:
a) Depth at which the slide occurs,
b) Slope of the sliding surface
c) Total distance moved by the slide.
d) Duration of the slide.
e) Density of the slide material.
f) Grain size size and other geotechnical parameters
of the sliding material (grains size, coherent nature,
g) Characteristic speed of the slide movement.
Storegga Slide tsunami (30000 yers, 9000 years, and
7000-8000 years Before Present) and 1998 Papua New
Guinea tsunami are the examples of landslide generated

3.1.4. Tsunami Excitation from Volcanic Eruptions
Tsunamis related to volcanic sources have complex
generation mechanisms. Volcanic activities caused
failures, debris avalanches, pyroclastic flow, massive
submarine and subaerial landslides, explosion and
collapse processes are capable of generating tsunamis.
Identifying the volcanic tsunami generation mechanisms
is directly related to the understanding of the caldera
formation processes and all other related concurrent
geotectonic activities during and after the submarine
volcano eruption.

There are numerous examples of volcanic tsunamis.
1630 BC Santorini (Thera) Tsunami, 1883 Karakatau
Tsunami are the major ones. 2002 Stromboli tsunami in
Mediterranean, 2003 Monserrat Tsunami in Caribbean
are the other examples.

3.1.5. Tsunami Excitation from Impacts

The impact of any object to water generates waves. If
this phenomenon occurs in the oceans with the impact of
large-diameter-objects such as meteorite, asteroid or
comet, then the wave generated may be large and it is
called tsunami.

A hit of an asteroid to the ocean at a very high speed
causes a gigantic explosion. The material and the water
vaporize and leave a huge crater of a typical size of 20
times as large as the diameter of the asteroid. That is, a
100m asteroid will cause form a crater with a diameter
size of 2 kilometers. The water rushes back, meets at the
center, superposes and creates a mountain of water at the
middle and spreads out as a massive wave - a tsunami.
The centre of the crater oscillates up and down several
times and a series of waves radiate out ward.

3.1.6 References

Yalciner, A. C., E. Pelinovsky, A. Zaytsev, A, Kurkin, C.
Ozer and H. Karakus (2006b): NAMI DANCE
Manual, METU, Civil Engineering Department,
Ocean Engineering Research Center, Ankara,
Turkey (
Yalciner, A. C., E. Pelinovsky, A. Zaytsev, A. Kurkin, C.
Ozer and H. Karakus (2007): Modeling and
visualization of tsunamis: Mediterranean
examples, from, Tsunami and Nonlinear Waves
(Ed: Anjan Kundu), Springer, 2731-2839.

Yalciner, A.C., H. Karakus, C. Ozer, G. Ozyurt (2005):
Short Courses on Understanding the Generation,
Propagation, Near and Far-Field Impacts of
Tsunamis and Planning Strategies to Prepare for
Future Events Course Notes prepared by METU
Civil Eng. Dept. Ocean Eng. Res. Center, for the
Short Courses in University of Teknologi
Malaysia held in Kuala Lumpur on July 11-12,
2005, and in Astronautic Technology Malaysia
held in Kuala Lumpur on April 24-May 06, 2006,
and in UNESCO Training on Tsunami Numerical
Modeling held in Kuala Lumpur on May 08-19
2006 and in Belgium Oostende on June 06-16,

3.2.1 Wavelength, Wave Period and Propagation
Speed of Tsunami

Wavelength of the tsunami is determined by the initial
profile of tsunami. Since horizontal scale of the initial
tsunami profile is generally from several ten kilometers
to several hundred kilometers, the tsunami wavelengths
in tsunami source regions are extremely longer than sea
waves induced by winds, which we can see on beaches.
The wave-number proportional to inverse of wavelength
becomes very low for such a long wave, and fluctuations
with lower wave-number are less diminished during
propagation. The tsunami, therefore, can propagate over
a long distance with limited energy loss. For example,
the 1960 Chilean Tsunami occurring near the Chilean
coast in the South America traveled over the Pacific
Ocean and hit on the Hawaiian and Japanese coasts. The
2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami generated by the
earthquake off Sumatra Island also could propagate to
the east coast of the Africa Continent (see Fig. 3.3).

t=0 min t=20 min
t=60 min t=120 min
t=40 min
t=180 min
-1 0 1 2 3 m

Fig. 3.3: Propagation of the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami

The restoring force of the deformed initial tsunami
profile is provided by gravity. Tsunamis are, therefore,
subjected to dynamics of ocean surface waves. For a
long wave such as tsunamis, the following equation is
derived by the wave dispersion relation:

gd T L = (3.1)

in which L is the wavelength, T the wave period, d the
water depth and g the gravitational acceleration.
Following this relationship, the tsunami with longer
wavelength has longer wave period. In general, typical
wave period of tsunami is from ten minutes to an hour
or more, depending on wavelength and water depth.

Tsunami propagation speed (wave celerity in other
words) is calculated by Eq. (3.2) which is transformation
of Eq. (3.1):

gd T L c = = (3.2)

in which c is the tsunami propagation speed. From this
equation, the propagation speed of tsunami depends on
the water depth only and is illustrated in Fig. 3.4.

1 10 100 1000 10000
Water depth (m)



Fig. 3.4: Propagation speed of tsunami

In a very-shallow water area with the water depth
comparable to the tsunami height, the propagation speed
is affected by not only the water depth but the tsunami
height, and calculated by the following equation:

( ) + = d g c (3.3)

in which is the water surface elevation of tsunami.

3.2.2 Directionality of Tsunami Propagation

If the initial profile of tsunami is circle, part of tsunami
propagating in every direction away from the region of
tsunami source has equivalent wave energy. However,
since the profile generally has longer axis and shorter
axis, part of tsunami with higher wave energy
propagates in the direction normal to longer axis and
that of lower energy travels in the direction of longer
axis. For example, the initial profile of the 2004 Indian
Ocean Tsunami is 1,000 km long in the north-south
direction and 200 km wide in the east-west direction.
Therefore, high tsunami struck Sumatra Islands,
Thailand, Sri Lanka and India locating in the east- west
direction of the initial profile of the tsunami, resulting in
devastating damage caused there. Figure 3.5 indicates a
calculated distribution of maximum tsunami height of
the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami.

Fig. 3.5: Calculated distribution of the maximum tsunami
height of the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami

3.2.3 Distant Tsunami and Local Tsunami

The tsunami can strike coasts fairly far from the tsunami
source, since the tsunami can travel long distance. The
tsunami propagating from a far field is called Distant
Tsunami or Teletsunami. In contrary the tsunami
generated near a coast is called Local Tsunami, which
can hit the coast soon after the earthquake. The 2004
Indian Ocean Tsunami is the local tsunami for the
Sumatra Island, Indonesia, and is also the distant
tsunami for Thailand, Sri Lanka and other rim countries
of the Indian Ocean.

Before arrival of the local tsunami, people can feel
ground shaken by the earthquake in general. Therefore,
they may prepare countermeasures against the tsunami
before its arrival: i.e. evacuation to save their lives. In
contrast, since people cannot feel the ground motion for
the distant earthquake causing the teletsunami,
international cooperation to disseminate tsunami
warning is necessary to prepare something against the
coming tsunami.

3.2.4 Transformation of Tsunami

(1) Diffraction, refraction and reflection
The tsunami that is a series of long wave undergoes
wave diffraction, refraction and reflection in the same
way as ocean surface waves, depending on bathymetric
and topographic change (see Fig. 3.6). In Fig. 3.3, the
reflected tsunamis are also shown clearly as circular
waves propagating from the Sri Lankan Island in the
case of t = 180 min.

-1 0 1 2 3 4 5 m -1 0 1 2 3 4 5 m
Diffracted wave
Refracted wave
Reflected wave
Diffracted wave
Refracted wave
Reflected wave

Fig. 3.6: Diffraction, refraction and reflection of tsunami

(2) Enlargement of tsunami height
Tsunami height, which is normally defined as the
distance from a tsunami wave crest to the sea surface
without disturbance of tsunami (see Fig. 3.7), may be a
few meters or less in deep water whereas the wavelength
exceeds several ten kilometers. The tsunami is not
visible on ships in the deep sea. However, the tsunami
shortens its wavelength with almost conserving its wave
energy as it approaches to a shallow water region. As
the result of the decrease of wavelength without energy
loss, the tsunami height can be enlarged. This
transformation process is well-known as the wave
shoaling. Depending on local bathymetry and
topography, the tsunami height may reach 10 m or more.

Mean sea level
Estimated astronomical tide
Tsunami height Tsunami wave height
Water surface
Tsunami arrival

Fig. 3.7: Definition of tsunami terminologies

Wave height of tsunami, which is defined as the distance
from a wave crest to trough, is also changed depending
on the water depth. It can be roughly estimated by the
following Greens Law which is derived from
conservation of tsunami energy:

4 / 1
1 2

H H (3.4)

in which d
:and d
are the water depths in the deep and
shallow water areas, respectively, and H
:and H
are the
wave heights in the areas with the water depth of d
, respectively. Using this equation, for instance, the
tsunami height in shallow water of 10 m deep is 1.8
times that in deep water of 100 m deep.

The tip of a cape is also a dangerous area since the
tsunami height is increased. The tsunami energy is
concentrated there due to wave refraction as shown in
Fig. 3.8. The wave refraction provides the change of
tsunami propagation direction in the same way as lights
refracted by an optical lens. The direction change results
in the reduction of the width between adjacent wave
rays, and then the wave height between the adjacent
wave rays increased to conserve wave energy between
the rays. A similar phenomenon appears around a shoal
under the sea.

Increase of tsunami height
Wave ray of tsunami
depth line
Reduction of width:

Fig. 3.8: Increase of tsunami height around the tip of a cape

The tsunami height is also enlarged in a V-shape water
basin. The tsunami intruding in the V-shape water basin
is reflected from shores of both sides of the basin and is
concentrated in the innermost part of the basin, resulting
in appearance of higher tsunami than the incident

(3) Deformation of tsunami in shallow water
Approaching to the shallow water near coats, the
tsunami may appear as a rapidly rising or falling tide,
breaking bore, or undulate bore (see Fig. 3.9). Shorter
typical wavelength of tsunami and milder slope angle of
beach may provide generation of undulate bore. All of
the water depth, slop angle of beach, and the height and
wavelength of tsunami affected by bathymetry and
topography may help to undergoes deformation of
tsunami. For the horizontal bottom, the crest of undulate
bore may reach to the height 1.5 to 2.0 times the tsunami
height of bore without undulation. Shorter waves on the
undulate bore can also be broken if their wave heights is
over 0.83 times water depth, which is theoretically
derive by Yamada (1957). Figure 3.10 shows the
undulation bore with breaking bore took by the Japan
Ground Self-Defense Force when the tsunami generated
by the 2003 Off Tokachi Earthquake run up the Tokachi
river. Figure 3.11 indicates an experimental result of the
tsunami on a /200 mild slop conducted by Tsuruya and
Nakano (Tanimoro et al., 1983). The generated tsunami
in experimental channel has the wave period of 40 s and
the wave steepness of 0.00019 at Point H. The leading
wave of tsunami leans forward at Point F and E.
Undulation on the tsunami form is produced around
Point D and it develop as the tsunami propagates toward
the shore.

Breaking bore
Undulate bore
Rapidly rising/falling tide-like tsunami
Offshore tsunami

Fig. 3.9: Deformation of tsunami in shallow water

Fig. 3.10: Undulate bore with breaking bore

1.5 1.5
3.25 6.25 12.5 15.0

(a) Configuration of experimental channel
40 s
Water Depth = 100.0cm
50.0 cm
22.5 cm
15.0 cm
8.75 cm
5.625 cm
4.00 cm
3.25 cm

(b) Tsunami profiles at measurement points

Fig. 3.11: Tsunami propagating on mild slope

(4) Wave dispersion of tsunami
For the general ocean surface waves we can see on
beaches, the wave with long wave period moves faster
than that of short wave period. This is wave dispersion.
In contrast, the tsunami is a non-dispersive wave, as
shown in Eq. (3.2) in which the propagation speed of
tsunami is independent of the wave period and depends
on the water depth only. However, dependence of wave
period of tsunami propagation speed which is associated
with wave nonlinearity and is very small quantity in
general may provide wave dispersion of tsunami during
the propagation of long distance. The wave-period
dependent quantity in the tsunami propagation speed is
derived in the second-order nonlinear wave theory as

gd c


Wave dispersion is also developed in shallow water. The
tsunami approaching to the shallow water area develops
its wave steepness, which produces vertical acceleration
of water particle, associated with high curvature of wave
form. Such acceleration finally develops wave

3.2.5 The Indian Ocean Tsunami striking Sri Lanka

(1) Propagation in deepwater
The Indian Ocean Tsunami traveled over 1,400 km
through the open ocean waters prior to its impact on the
Sri Lankan coastline. The waves themselves move very
fast with speeds of propagation exceeding 800 km/hour
(222 m/sec) and reaching over 200 km in wavelength.
However their height may be limited to comparatively
small values of the order of 1.0 m in deepwater. The
period of the tsunami witnessed in Sri Lanka was of the
order of 20-30 minutes and the maximum height in the
deep water was around 0.6m to 0.8m.

The wave height at any point of a propagating tsunami is
related to its distance from the origin, the energy content
and area of the initial disturbance, and to energy losses
in transit which are generally small except in the
immediate locality of the disturbance.

(2) Interaction with the continental shelf
On moving towards land the wave first interacts with the
continental shelf during which process the initial
transformation takes place. Depending on the physical
characteristics of this shelf, part of the energy is
reflected and the rest is transmitted towards land. High
reflections reduce the energy transmitted. Sri Lanka has
a very narrow continental shelf with a drop of levels of
the order of 150-200 m to 3,000 m. A reasonable portion
of the incoming wave energy may have been reflected
from the continental shelf. The wave energy that
transmitted over the shelf came directly towards land as
the Sri Lankan continental shelf is insufficiently wide to
contribute towards significant energy dissipation.
Discontinuities in the shelf, as present at the southern tip
of the country, may have contributed to interactions
leading to complex wave patterns. Waves diffracting
around the southern parts of the island were further
transformed by such formations affecting the south-west
quarter of the country and leading to greater impacts
(see Fig. 3.12).

Reflection Continental Shelf
Estimated 60-90% energy reflected back

Fig. 3.12: Reflection and transformation due to the
continental shelf

(3) Nearshore transformations
On reaching shallow water, the speed of the wave
reduces as shown in Eq. (3.2) and Fig. 3.4, but the
energy in the wave remains the same due to minimum
energy loss, thus increasing the wave height very rapidly
and crashing inland with devastating power and
destruction. It is very important to recognize that the
combined action of near-shore processes and local
geomorphologic features influence the degree of the
final impact at a given location.

In this respect the wave height prior to the entry to the
shoreline is further increased by the combined influence
of the nearshore coastal transformation processes of
refraction, diffraction, reflection, and energy
concentration due to reduced crest width within bays.
The nearshore transformation processes are greatly
influenced by the shape of the coastline,
geomorphologic features and bottom bathymetry.
Depending on these features some coastal areas have
greater exposure than others to tsunamis.

From detailed studies of the tsunami wave witnessed
around the island it was clearly evident that nearshore
transformation processes and shoreline geometry
increased the wave heights along many parts of the
southern and western province which would have
normally received only diffracted waves. The impacts of
the combined transformation processes and the shoreline
geometry greatly contributed to the unexpected
devastation at certain locations along the south-west
coast. Of particular interest was the enhanced wave
heights observed at cities located along bays and around
headlands. The inland topography and lack of drainage
facilities worsened the impact. Figure 3.13 illustrates
typical transformation processes around the island.

Fig. 3:13: Coastal processes around Sri Lanka

3.2.6 References

Yamada, H. (1957): On the highest solitary wave, Rep.
Res. Inst. Appl. Mech. Kyushu Univ., 5, 53-67.

Direct and
Refracted Waves
Refracted and
Diffracted Waves
Direct and
Refracted Waves

3.3.1. Harbor Resonance

A series of tsunami is not a monochromatic wave which
has a wave component with any wave frequency. It
consists of a lot of wave components with various wave
frequencies. Typical wave frequencies are in the range
of ten minutes to an hour or more, and the wavelengths
of the corresponding wave components are from several
kilometers to several dozen kilometers, depending on
the water depth. Since such wavelengths are comparable
to the scale of ports and harbors, the corresponding
wave components excite resonance in the harbor and

Resonance is the tendency of a system to oscillate at
maximum amplitude at certain frequencies. When
damping is small, the resonance frequency becomes
approximately equal to the natural frequency of the
system, which is the frequency of free oscillations.
Resonant phenomena tend to occur where oscillations or
waves occur.

The agitation inside the basins depends on i) the period
of the waves forcing the agitation, ii) the reflection and
dissipation characteristics of the boundaries and iii) the
geometric properties of the basin. Waves (short period
waves or tsunamis) entering continuously to the basins
such as harbors may in some cases cause abnormal
water surface fluctuations, long period amplifications
and unexpected damages if their period concur with one
of the periods of free oscillations of the basin.

The resonant oscillations inside harbors, bays, or any
other semi-enclosed or closed basins is a problem that
can have direct impact on the management of harbors,
shipping, handling and coastal utilization (Yalciner and
Pelinovsky, 2007).

3.3.2. Examples of Harbor Resonance

Figure 3.14 indicates water surface disturbances by the
Peru tsunami striking on 25 June 2001 measured at the
tide station in Kuji Port, Japan and at the wave gage
installed 7.1 km away from the open mouth of Kuji Port,
in which the water depth is 50 m. Although the
disturbance in the offshore tsunamis small and the wave
height is 0.2 m approximately, the tsunami in the port is
excited and the wave height increases four times the
offshore tsunami. This amplification of tsunami in the
port results from harbor resonance. Each harbor has own
natural frequencies depending on the horizontal scale,
water depth and configuration of harbor. The tsunami
components with the same wave frequency as the
natural frequencies of harbor may be excited when the
tsunami will attack.

Figure 3.15 shows that the results of spectral analysis of
the tsunami profiles in the inside and outside of the port.
Black, red, green, blue, light blue lines in the figure
indicate spectra of the tsunami profile measured during
two hours just after arrival of the tsunami, and after 6,
12, 18 and 24 hours later of the arrival, respectively. In
the offshore area, tsunami energy of the components
whose period is around 30 to 50 minutes is predominant.
In the port, however, high tsunami energy appears
around 20 minutes. If the tsunami would be significantly
amplified if the incident tsunami period is near 20
24.5 25.0 25.5 26.0 26.5


Kuji unit: cm



Fig. 3.14: Profiles of the 2001 Peru Tsunami measured in
Kuji Port, Japan and offshore of the port







f (Hz)
5min 10 30 60 90
Inside of the port
Outside of the port

Fig. 3.15: Results of spectral analysis on the wave profiles of
the 2001 Peru Tsunami measured in the inside and outside of
Kuji Port

The resonant tsunami period and amplification factor at
each bay can be evaluated by numerical tsunami
simulations. A short cut numerical method by Yalciner
and Pelinovsky (2007) can also be used to estimate the
resonant period and amplification factor. The periods of
free oscillations (T
) inside a closed rectangular flat
bottom basin (when the boundaries are vertical, solid,
smooth and impermeable) can be found by

2 2

n = 0, 1, 2, 3, and m =0, 1, 2, 3, (3.6)

where L is the length and B is the width of the basin, d
is the water depth, and n and m are integer numbers
represent each mode (Raichlen, 1966). For example a
resonant tsunami period for n = 1 and m = 0 with L =
3,000 m and d = 15 m in the above equation is about 8
minutes. It should be noted that the equation should be
modified for a bay opened to ocean.

3.3.3 References

Raichlen, (1966), Harbor Resonance, Interaction of
Structures and Waves, in Coastline and Estuarine
Hydrodynamics, Ippen A.T., Editor, McGraw Hill,
New York, 281-315.
Yalciner A. C., and E. Pelinovsky (2007): A Short Cut
Numerical Method for Determination of Resonance
Periods of Free Oscillations in Irregular Shaped
Basins, Ocean Engineering, 34(5-6), 747-757.

3.4.1 Terminology

This section deals with runup especially as the process
of a tsunami on land. Runup height is defined as
elevation between the elevation reach by seawater and
some stated datum such as mean sea level, sea level at
the time of the tsunami attack, etc., and is measured
ideally at a point that is a local maximum of the
horizontal inundation. Where the elevation is not
measured at the maximum of horizontal inundation this
is often referred to as the inundation height. The follow
scientific terms can be define regarding with tsunami
runup (see Fig 3.16).

Fig. 3.16: Tsunami runup and inundation. (Source:
International Tsunami Information Center, the
Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO;

3.4.2 Runup Process

There are deformation processes of tsunami in very-
shallow water areas and on land, as indicated Section
3.2: fast tide-like tsunami, tsunami bore and breaking
tsunami. The tsunamis like a fast tide may be observed
on wharfs and quays in ports and harbors, because of
deep water in front of the wharfs and quays. In contrast,
the tsunami propagating long distance on a mild-sloping
beach may form a tsunami bore. The bore can cause
destruction of structure because the bore of tsunami
usually provides impulsive impact force on the structure.

3.4.3 Analytical Estimation of Tsunami Runup

(1) Runup height
In order to estimate the tsunami runup on straight coast,
is possible to apply the Shutos analysis based on a
Lagrangian treatment, the runup height of long waves on
a uniform slope is represented as follows:

4 4


in which R is the runup height above the still water level,
H and L are the incident wave height and length at the
constant water depth h as shown in Fig. 3.17. The
function J
( ) indicates n-th Bessel function.

Fig. 3.17: Tsunami runup

The head of the tsunami landed on a shore may become
bore, and the propagation speed can be estimated
roughly by the following equation.

h g k U = (3.8)

in which k is a parameter concerning the roughness of
the ground surface; k =0.7 is adopted for a very rough
surface and k =2.0 for a very smooth surface.

(2) Flow velocities in the run up zone
To predict the flow velocities and depths for a given
design tsunami at a site of interest, the best practice
available is to run a detailed numerical simulation model
with a very fine grid size in the run up zone. Usually
such a numerical model is running with the nested grid
system: running with a grid size of several kilometers in
the abyssal plain, a few hundreds of meters on the
continental shelf, a few tens of meters near the shore and
a smaller grid size for the run up zone. The numerical
simulation can provide the complete time history of flow
velocity and depth at the site of interest. Drawbacks of
this approach are that 1) such a simulation model is not
readily available to the public and requires significant
resources (time, money, and expertise), and 2) the
results, in particular the flow velocities, may not be as
accurate as expected, depending on the mesh size and
the run up algorithm.

Alternatively, the use of analytical solutions should be
considerer. While some simplifications and assumptions
must impose onto the analytical solutions, the results are
useful as guidelines. The available analytical solutions
are based on the one-dimensional fully nonlinear
shallow-water-wave theory for the condition with a
uniformly sloping beach. With these assumptions, the
exact solution for the run up resulting from an incident
uniform bore was given by Ho and Meyer (1962). The
maximum run up velocity occurs at the leading tip and
was found to be:

x u
= 1
lg 2

Where l is the total run up distance (from the initial
shoreline to the maximum run up), is the beach slope,
g is the gravitational acceleration, and x measures
inshore distance from the initial shoreline to the location
of interest. Furthermore, Carrier et al. (2003) recently
developed the exact solution algorithm for non-
breaking tsunamis of the general initial forms. Using
this algorithm, Yeh (2005) plotted the envelope curves
of the maximum momentum flux per unit water mass
as shown in Fig. 3.18. In this figure, the numerical
result for uniform-bore runup is also plotted and
presented in color red. The plots in Fig. 3.18 yield the
algebraic representation of the envelop of the maximum
momentum flux per unit water mass hu

l g
u h
015 . 0 11 . 0
2 2


Fig. 3.18: Linear momentum flux per unit mass for 1-D
tsunami run up; Analytical solution for non-breaking tsunami
in black (Carrier et al., 2003) and numerical solution for bore
run up in red.

Hence once the maximum run up distance is determined
(perhaps from the available inundation map) for a given
uniform beach slope, the maximum velocity at a given
location x can be computed by Eq. (3.9) and the
momentum flux hu
by Eq. (3.10). The maximum
inundation depth at a site of interest should be evaluate
by the difference between the site elevation and the
water surface elevation at the maximum run up location,
which is the limited condition for a very long wave.
Although a real beach is not uniformly slope not is
tsunami run up one-dimensional motion, Eqs. (3.9) and
(3.10) will provide the analytical basis for the run up
conditions. It must be noted that Fig. 3.18 and Eq. (3.10)
were obtained by evaluating a variety of cases with the
algorithm given by Carrier et al. (2003) plus the
numerical evaluation of bore run up (George, 2004), and
is currently being reviewed for publication (Yeh, 2006).

3.4.4 References

Carrier, G.F., T.T. Wu, and H. Yeh (2003): Tsunami
run-up and draw-down on a plane beach, J. Fluid
Mech., 475, 79-99.
Yeh, H. (2006): Maximum fluid forces in the tsunami
runup zone, J. Waterway, Port, Coastal, and Ocean
Engineering, ASCE, 132(6), 496-500.


3.5.1 Outline of Numerical Simulation

(1) Advantage of numerical simulation
Numerical simulations help to understanding tsunami
hazards possible: tsunami height and arrival time along
coasts, inundation area, maximum inundation depth and
others. Therefore, the numerical simulations are
commonly conducted not only for understandings of
hydraulic and hydrodynamic characteristics of tsunami
but for preparation of tsunami hazard maps or
inundation maps in a coastal community. The numerical
simulations can easily provide estimation of tsunami
hazards in future plan of land use.

(2) Accuracy of numerical simulation
To conduct the numerical simulations of tsunami, we
should have bathymetric and topographic data and the
initial form of the tsunami of interest as well as
numerical models. Therefore, accuracy of tsunami
numerical simulation depends on not only accuracy of
numerical models but bathymetric and topographic data.
In validation of historical tsunami damage, the initial
form of the tsunami is also affected in the results.

The tsunami numerical simulation system consisting of
them should be validated to compare with damage
records of historical tsunamis and experimental results.
Confidence of the tsunami source model is usually
evaluated in terms of by the following geometric
average K and geometric standard deviation by Aida

( ) ( )
2 / 1
2 2
log log


K n K


in which n is the number of data for evaluation and K
the ratio of recorded tsunami height and calculated
tsunami height at the location number of i.

These indexes are used to evaluate the tsunami source
model for a historical tsunami. The following rule of
thumb is generally used to judge trust of the tsunami
source model:

0.95 < K < 1.05 and < 1.45 (3.13)

When a port facility is designed in a port, a fixed wave
form of a designed tsunami in the port is used to
investigate its stability and protecting performance
against the tsunami.

3.5.2 Numerical Models

(1) Various models for tsunami calculation
Various numerical models have been developed, and an
adequate model or a suitable combination of models
should be selected depending on the aim of numerical

(2) Model based on shallow water wave theory
Since a tsunami is well approximated by a series of long
wave whose wavelength is 20 times longer than water
depth, numerical models of tsunami based on the
shallow water wave theory (i.e., Goto and Sato, 1993)
are used in practical works to estimate tsunami hazards
at present. In the shallow water wave theory, the
hydrostatic pressure is assumed, and the consequent
equations of the numerical model as follows:

0 =

t y

3 / 7
2 2
gD fN
y D
x t

= +

3 / 7
2 2
gD fM
y D
x t


in which

+ = h D (3.17)
dz v N dz u M
h h

+ +
= =

, (3.18) and (3.19)

x and y are the horizontal coordinates, z the vertical
coordinate upward from the still water level, t the time,
u and v the velocity components in x and y directions, M
and N the momentum fluxes in x and y directions, D the
total depth, h the still water depth including tide and any
sea level rise, the tsunami variation in the surface level,
the sea bottom variation caused by tectonic activity, g
the gravitational acceleration, n the Manning coefficient,
f the Coriolis parameter, and A the horizontal diffusion

The last terms in the right hand side of Eqs. (3.15) and
(3.16) calculates momentum loss due to bottom friction.
In many cases, the Manning coefficient, n, is used
instead of a bottom friction factor, because the Manning
coefficients have been investigated well in engineering
fields. The general values of the coefficient are shown in
Table 3.1.

Table 3.1: Example of Manning coefficient
Area Value of
Sea area 0.03 Iwasaki and
Mano (1979)
0.025 Goto and Sato
(1993) and
Kotani et al.
n area
residential district
(Occupancy of
structure: 50 ~
80 %)
0.08 Kotani et al.
residential district
(20 ~ 50 %)
residential district
(0 ~ 20 %)
Forest area 0.03
Agricultural area 0.02

Horizontal diffusion is generally negligible in
calculation of the tsunami propagating in the sea,
compared to the bottom friction effects. Moreover, the
value of diffusion coefficient has not been discussed in
detail yet.

The fourth term of Eq. (3.14) calculates time variation in
the water surface due to tectonic activity. In general, the
variation in the surface level is given as an initial
deformation of the water surface caused by fault motion,
because the propagation speed of rapture of the fault is
much faster than tsunami propagation speed and then
time variation of water surface caused by the fault
motion has less effect in tsunami propagation. However,
in case of a large area deformed by an earthquake, for
instance the area of 1000 km long and 200 km wide
deformed by the M9.3 Sumatra earthquake on 26
December 2006 triggering the Indian Ocean Tsunami,
the consideration of the time variation in the water
surface due to rapture process of the sea bottom
provides accurate results on the tsunami propagating in
the Indiana Ocean.

(3) Model in deep water
Nonlinear terms including products of , M and N in
Eqs. (3.15) and (3.16):
, M
, N
and MN, can be
neglected in deep water more than 50 m deep, in general.
Resultant equations for the tsunami in the deep sea are
as follows:

0 =

t y

h g fN

= +

) (
h g fM

) (

(4) Model for distant tsunamis
Second-order perturbation of tsunami propagation speed,
which is derived in Eq. (3.2) and is generally negligible
small for local tsunamis, is significant for the distant
tsunami propagating long distance from the tsunami
generation area. Since the small amount depends on
wavelength or wave period, the tsunami causes wave
dispersion in the same way as normal waves in the sea.
In numerical models for the distant tsunami, therefore,
wave dispersion terms are included in the governing
equations. On the other hand, non-linear terms are
usually neglected while the tsunami propagates in the
ocean, because wave height is much smaller then the
water depth.

Another difference from the model for the local tsunami
is the use of the ellipsoid coordinate system depending
on the surface of the earth. Resultant governing
equations for distant tsunamis are as follows:

( )

R t


= +

) ( 1
) (
h g


) (
) (
h g


in which

y t
x t
2 2
) cos (


and and are axes of Earth coordinate system, R the
diameter of the earth.

(5) Model for nonlinear and dispersive tsunami
The nonlinear and dispersive tsunami appearing near
shore, as shown in Fig. 3.11, is well calculated by the
models based on nonlinear Boussinesq-type equations
(Peregrine, 1967; Madsen and Sorensen, 1992; Nwogu,
1993; Liu, 1994; Wei et al., 1995). Various Boussinesq-
type equations are derived by many researchers,
depending on the way of consideration of wave
dispersion. Lynett et al. (2002) have utilized the
following Boussinesq-type equations and developed
runup and rundown scheme additionally:

( ) [ ]
( ) ( ) ( )
( ) ( ) [ ]

+ +

+ +

h z h
z h h h
2 2 2
( ) [ ] { ( ) [ ]
( ) ( ) [ ] }
{ ( ) ( ) [ ] ( ) ( )
( ) [ ] }
( ) [ ]
( ) [ ]
( ) ( ) [ ]

u u u
u u
u u
u u
u u u u
u u
u u
u u
u u

+ +

+ +

z z h z
h z
h h h
h z


in which is the free surface elevation, h the water
depth, u

= (u

, v

) the reference horizontal velocity.

The velocity is evaluated at the elevation z

=-0.531h, as
recommended by Nwogu (1993), based on optimum
agreement of the governing equations with the linear
dispersion relation.

Using the Boussinesq-type model, Shigihara and Fujima
(2006) have performed numerical simulation of the 2004
Indian Ocean Tsunami and concluded that the dispersion
effect is restricted in the east side of the tsunami source,
for instance, Indonesia, and not negligible in the west
side, for instance, Maldives and Africa., but negligible
in the southwest coast of Sri Lanka.

(6) Fully three-dimensional model for tsunamis
The tsunami interacting with structures may have
vertical acceleration which is negligible for the tsunami
propagating in the oceans. Fujima et al. (2002) have
developed a three-dimensional numerical model for the
tsunamis. Comparing with their experiments on the
tsunami passing an opening section of breakwater, the
three-dimensional model provided good results. In their
numerical model system, especially, the three-
dimensional model is connected the horizontally-two-
dimensional model as indicated in Section 3.5.2 (2) in
order to reduce computational efforts. Yoneyama et al.
(2002) also applied their three-dimensional model to the
experimental result which reproduces the 1993 Okushiri
Tsunami running up the hill surface of the Okushiri
Island in an indoor wave basin, and showed good
agreement of the numerical result with the experimental
result. Liu et al. (2005) have also developed a three-
dimensional model to investigate numerically waves and
runup and rundown generated by a sliding mass into
water. They have employed the volume of fluid (VOF)
method to track accurately the complicated water
surface, i.e., which is induced by the sliding mass into
the water. Tomita et al. (2005) have also developed a
tsunami numerical simulation system consisting of a
fully three-dimensional model and multilayer model
with hydrostatic pressure assumption in each layer, and
validated their model in comparison with experimental
results on the tsunami interacting with the tsunami
breakwater in the Kamaishi port, the tsunami
propagating on a slope in an experimental channel, and
the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami striking a Sri Lankan

One of the three-dimensional model (Tomita et al.,
2006b) is introduced as an example. The governing
equations are as follows:

( ) ( ) ( ) 0 =

z y x

( ) ( ) ( )

y x
x x
fv wu
x t
e z
e y e x v
z y x v


( ) ( ) ( )


y y
x y
fu wv
x t
e z
e y e x v
z y x v


( ) ( ) ( )

z z
x t
z e y
e x v
z y x v


in which x, y and z are the Cartesian coordinates, u, v
and w the water particle velocity components in the
directions of x, y and z, the fluid density, p the
pressure, g the gravitational acceleration,
the eddy
viscosity, and f the Coriolis parameter. The porosity of

and transmissivity of
in the directions of
x, y and z introduced by Sakakiyama and Kajima (1992)
are imposed to express configuration of sea bottom and
structure shapes smoothly. The eddy viscosity
coefficient is estimated by the following formula in the
same way as Nakatsuji et al. (1992) and Fujima et al.

( )

s e


in the summation rule. In Eq. 3.31, = (xyz)

and (x, y, z) the computational grid spaces in x, y,
and z directions, respectively. C
is a constant vale and
equal to 0.2. A constant eddy viscosity coefficient is
also available for

The VOF method, described later, can provide the
computation of the complicated free water surface such
as wave breaking if fine computational grids are adopted
for the calculation: i.e., the grid size is dozen
centimeters in a real scale. However, it may be hard to
apply the VOF model to the calculation of overall
tsunami in a coastal city whose area is more than several
square kilometers, because of huge number of
computational grid are necessary to calculate the
detailed tsunami.

To reduce computational effort, therefore, Fujima et al.
(2002) and Tomita et al. (2005) have adopted the
following vertically-integrated continuity equation for
detection of the free water surface:

0 =

x v
x t

The complicated water surface of tsunami such as wave
breaking may be calculated by the VOF method.
Because the wave breaking is calculated, impulsive
pressure induced the breaking wave is also analyzed
numerically. In this technique, the free water surface is
calculated by the following equation on the function of
fluid volume in each computational cell, F. Such models
exert their effectiveness in a computational grid system
with fine grid size of several tens of centimeters.

0 =

F w
F v
F u


3.5.3 Discretization of Model Equations

The finite difference method is applied in many
numerical models for tsunami calculation. The model
equations as shown in the previous section are usually
discretized in the staggered mesh in space and the
leapfrog scheme in time, as shown in Fig. 3.19.

(i-1/2, j-1/2) (i+1/2, j-1/2)
(i-1/2, j+1/2) (i+1/2, j+1/2)
i-1/2, j
i+1/2, j

i,j h
(i, j)

, N

, N

(1) Staggered mesh in space (2) Leapfrog scheme in time

Fig. 3.19: Definition points of variables in discretized model

3.5.4 Application of Numerical Model to Actual

(1) Outline of numerical simulation
As an example, the numerical simulation of the 2004
Indian Ocean Tsunami striking Galle city in the southern
part of Sri Lanka (Tomita and Honda, 2007) is indicated
in this section. In the simulation are employed both the
model with the hydrostatic pressure assumption (STOC-
ML) only and the combination model of STOC-ML and
fully three-dimensional model (STOC-IC)

(2) Computational grid system
An eight-stage nested grid system is constructed for the
computation, as shown in Fig. 3.20 and Table 3.2. The
first grid of 3,645 m in horizontal scale is set in the
Indian Ocean from the Sumatra Island to Maldives
islands. The size of second grid is one-third of the first
grid size. The following connection of adjacent grids is
in the same way as this. The finest eighth grid is 2.5 m
in scale and is developed in the coastal sea and land in
the city whose scale is 1,250 m x 1,250 m, in order to
calculate the tsunami interacted with coastal structures
and rigid architectures.

#2 #3

Fig. 3.20: Layout of nested grid system.

Table 3.2: Nested grid system
Grid size
1 500 500 Area_08
Grid number
1 480 600
1 345 345
1 207 225
1 294 591
1 417 615
1 576 414
1 846 854
z y x
Grid point number
Grid size
1 500 500 Area_08
Grid number
1 480 600
1 345 345
1 207 225
1 294 591
1 417 615
1 576 414
1 846 854
z y x
Grid point number

(3) Bathymetry, Topography and Structures
Bathymetric data for calculation is made from the
GEBCO 1.0-minute grid data and nautical charts of
1/312,000 to 1/10,000. Topographic data and horizontal
shape data of structures in Galle city are constructed
from 1/10,000 topographical digital map provided by the
Survey Department of Sri Lanka. In the computation,
structures including houses and buildings are considered
as obstacles which interrupt tsunami propagation. The
height of structures is constant of 5 m in the
computation, although actual structures are various in

(4) Tsunami Source
Fault model which produces the initial profile of the
tsunami is developed through the comparison with the
tsunami profile observed by a satellite JASON-1 and the
tsunami trace heights along Sri Lankan coasts (Tomita
and Honda, 2007). The resultant fault model is shown as
in Table 3.3 and Fig. 3.21. It should be noted that this
fault model is modified from the original model by Oie
et al. (2006) to explain the tsunami in Sri Lanka, in
which the fault is divided into six segments.

Table 3.3: Fault model to express the 2004 Indian Ocean
Tsunami in Sri Lanka.
150.0 125.0 90.0 15.0 329.0 4.480 93.320 10.0 2
150.0 250.0 90.0 15.0 329.0 2.552 94.476 10.0 1
150.0 55.0 90.0 15.0 358.0 6.602 92.023 10.0 4
150.0 125.0 90.0 15.0 329.0 5.450 92.740 10.0 3
150.0 145.0 90.0 15.0 358.0 7.097 92.006 10.0 5
E [degree]
Position of Fault
N [degree]
8.400 15.0
150.0 125.0 90.0 15.0 329.0 4.480 93.320 10.0 2
150.0 250.0 90.0 15.0 329.0 2.552 94.476 10.0 1
150.0 55.0 90.0 15.0 358.0 6.602 92.023 10.0 4
150.0 125.0 90.0 15.0 329.0 5.450 92.740 10.0 3
150.0 145.0 90.0 15.0 358.0 7.097 92.006 10.0 5
E [degree]
Position of Fault
N [degree]
8.400 15.0

Uplif t area
Subsi dence

Fig. 3.21: Initial tsunami profile.

(5) Comparison with the profile of the tsunami
propagating in the Indian Ocean and the tsunami
striking Sri Lankan coasts
The satellite of JASON-1 observed the tsunami
propagating in the Indian Ocean along a line from 10 S
and 82 E to 15 N and 91 E during 10 minutes.
Calculation results are compared with the observed
tsunami. The dot-line in Fig 3.22 shows the observed
tsunami profile. It should be noted that all of the profile
data are observed not instantaneously but consecutively
by the satellite moving. The thin and thick lines are
computation results based on the fault model by Oie et
al. (2006) and the modified fault models shown in Table
3.4.3, respectively. The modified tsunami source can
provide clearly the two peaks in the south latitude
observed by the satellite, although gaps remain
particularly around 10 N. Further improvement to
diminish the gaps should be achieved by introduction of
rapture process of the fault from south to north. Indeed,
Fujima (2007) showed that tsunami fault model
considering rupture process of crust provided better
computation result comparing with the observation
results by JASON-1.




15 10 5 0 -5
Latitude [deg.]
J ason-1
Fault Model - 1
Fault Model - 2
Fault model by Oie et al. (2006)
Proposed fault model

Fig. 3.22: Tsunami profiles observed by JASON-1 and
computed with fault models.

Figure 3.23 shows that tsunami trace heights measured
in the field surveys (Tomita et al., 2006a, Shibayama et
al., 2005, Liu, 2005) and calculated tsunami heights
along the coasts. The computational result is good
agreement with field survey results on the whole. From
the field survey in Galle city (Tomita al., 2006a),
inundation height was 5.4 m in the innermost of the
Galle port and the tsunami exceeded a coastal cliff of
4.0 m in high. At these points the calculated maximum
tsunami heights are 5.0 m and 4.1 m, respectively. The
comparison indicates that the computational tsunami is
approximately 0.4 m less than the tsunami striking
actually. For calculation of inundation in Galle City due
to the tsunami, therefore, mean water level is raised 0.4

Fig. 3.23: Measured tsunami trace heights and calculated tsunami
heights along Sri Lankan coast.

Tsunami arrival time in calculation results with the
original fault model and modified fault model is
compared to the observation results in Colombo Port
and Colombo fishing harbor. The arrival time based on
each fault model is almost same as the observed one. It
is 160 minutes after the earthquake occurrence.

(6) Calculated Inundation in Galle City
Figures 3.24 and 3.25 indicate the maximum inundation
depth calculated by the model with the hydrostatic
pressure assumption (STOC-ML) only. In Fig. 3.24,
there are no structures as obstacles but existence of
structures is replaced by bottom roughness using
Manning roughness coefficients, n. The coefficients are
the same values as the conventional tsunami simulation:
i.e., n=0.08 m
s in high density area of house. In Fig.
3.25, houses and other structures are considered as the
obstacles to reflect and diffract the tsunami.

Comparing between Figs. 3.24 and 3.25, the houses as
obstacles reduce the inundation area and depth. The area
especially in the right hand side of Fig. 3.24 is widely
inundated in comparing to Fig. 3.25. Tomita and Honda
(2007) shows that the numerical result with tsunami
reduction due to houses is better agreement with actual
record of inundation area (Investigation Delegation of
the Japanese Government, 2005). Consideration of
structures including houses as obstacles are more
significant to estimate tsunami damages as well as
inundation in a coastal city.

Applying the three-dimensional model (STOC-IC) in the
eighth grid in Fig.3.20, the result by STOC-IC is almost
same as that of STOC-ML. In this simulation case the
three-dimensional effects are not significant in
estimation of inundated areas and the maximum
inundation depth, although they appear during
inundation process, especially in fluid velocity.

Fig. 3.24: Calculated inundation by STOC-ML without houses
as obstacles

Fig. 3.25: Calculated inundation by STOC-ML with houses as

3.5.5 Application of Numerical Model to
Experimental Result

Tanimoto et al. (1988) investigated experimentally the
reduction of the tsunami passing a model of the tsunami
breakwater in the Kamaishi port which had a submerged
breakwater in its opening section for navigation. In the
experimental basin as shown in Fig. 3.26 is applied the
three-dimensional model of STOC-IC to reproduce the
tsunami reduction numerically (Tomita and Honda,
2008). In the computation, the horizontal grid size is
0.040 to 0.044 m in the opening area surrounded by
dotted line in Fig. 3.26, and 0.12 m in other area.
Vertical grid size is 0.12 m in the levels of z=-1.20 to -
0.60 m and 0.12 to 0.24 m, and 0.04 m in the level of
z=-0.60 to 0.12 m. The tsunami is generated as a
uniform flow in the same way as the experiments. The
flow velocity is 1.0 m/s which is the averaged value at
the center of the opening section of breakwater. In
experiments it is 0.98 m/s or 1.05 m/s.

Figure 3.27 shows spatial variations of the tsunami
around the opening section of breakwater by the
experiments and numerical simulation. The result by the
three-dimensional model of (STOC-IC) provides a good
result in comparison with the experimental results from
the outside to inside of port. On the other hand, the
result by the model with the hydrostatic pressure
assumption (STOC-ML) has some discrepancy from the
experimental results. In the computation by the model
with the hydrostatic pressure assumption, the
momentum loss induced by the tsunami passing an
opening section of breakwater is usually considered in
terms of the product of the coefficient of momentum
loss and squared velocity, although no momentum loss
is considered in the result of STOC-ML. Goto and Sato
(1993) recommenced the coefficient of 0.5 through the
comparison with the experimental results of the tsunami
breakwater in the Kamaishi port, although they pointed
out that it depended on configuration of breakwater. If
the coefficient is considered in the simulation of STOC-
ML, the tsunami level in the outside of port rises from
the level indicated in Fig. 3.27 and that of the inside of
port subsides. Suitable value of the coefficient can be
found finally. However, since it depends on the
configuration of breakwater, an experiment is basically
necessary to determine it for other ports.

The three-dimensional model also has a coefficient of C

to estimate momentum loss as shown in Eq. (3.33).
However, the tsunami simulation results may not be
sensitive to the change of the coefficient, because
calculations in the range of C
=0.13 to 0.25 provide
almost the same profile of water surface around the
breakwater. Therefore the three-dimensional model may
estimate the protection effects of breakwater and other
structures against tsunami intrusion.

Fig. 3.26: Setup of experiment

Fig. 3.27: Tsunami profile around the opening section of

3.5.6 References

Aida, I. (1978): Reliability of a tsunami source model
derived from fault parameters, J. Physics Earth, 26,
57 - 73.
Fujima, K., K. Masamura, C. Goto (2002): Development
of the 2d/3d hybrid model for tsunami numerical
simulation. Coastal Eng. J., 44(4), 373 - 397.
Fujima, K. Y. Shigihara, K. Honda and H. Yanagisawa
(2007): Some detailed numerical simulations of
2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami, Proc. Fourth Int.
Workshop Coastal Disaster Prevention, 56-64.
Goto, C. and K. Sato (1993): Development of tsunami
numerical simulation system for Sanriku coast in Japan,
Report of Port and Harbor Res. Inst., 32(2), 3 - 44 (in
Iwasaki, T. and A. Mano (1979): Two-dimensional
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Kotani, M., F. Imamura, and N. Shuto (1998): Tsunami
run-up simulation and damage estimation by using GIS,
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Liu, L.F.P., 2005. Field survey and numerical simulation
of maximum tsunami elevations at different sites in
Sri Lanka.
Liu, P.L.-F. (1994): Model equations for wave
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Lynett, P.J., T.-R. Wu, P.L.-F. Liu (2002): Modeling
wave runup with depth-integrated equations, Coastal
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Madsen, P.A. and O.R. Sorensen (1992): A new firm of
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dispersion characteristics, Part 2 A slowly varying
bathymetry, Coastal Eng., 18, 183-204.
Nakatsuji, K., S. Karino, H. Kurita (1992): Finite
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JSCE, 36, 693-696 (in Japanese).
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simulation of nonlinear wave interacting with
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Shibayama, T., A. Okayasu, J. Sasaki, N. Wijayaratna, T.
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Matsumaru (2005): Disaster survey of Indian Ocean
Tsunami and its application to disaster prevention
works, Proc. the Special Asia Tsunami Session at
APAC 2005, 33-36.
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effect in the Indian Ocean Tsunami, J. Disaster Res.,
1(1), 142-147.
Tanimoto, K., T. Takayama, K. Murakami, S. Murata, H.
Tsuruya, S. Takahashi, M. Morikawa, Y. Yoshimoto,
S. Nakano and T. Hiraishi (1983): Field and
Laboratory investigations of the tsunami caused by
1983 Nihonkai Chubu Earthquake, Tech. Note
PHRI, 470, 299pp.
Tomita, T., T. Arikawa, T. Yasuda, F. Imamura and Y.
Kawata (2006a): Damage caused by the 2004 Indian
Ocean Tsunami on the southwestern coast of Sri
Lanka, Coastal Eng. J., 48(2): 99-116.
Tomita, T. and K. Honda (2007): Tsunami estimation
including effect of coastal structures and buildings
by 3d model, Proc. Coastal Structures, Venice, in
Tomita, T., K. Honda, T. Kakinuma (2006b):
Application of three-dimensional tsunami simulator
to estimation of tsunami behavior around structures.
Proc. 30th Int. Conf. Coastal Eng., ASCE, 1677-
Tomita, T. and K. Honda (2008): Application of three-
dimensional non-hydrostatic numerical model to
tsunamis in coastal areas, Annual J. Coastal Eng., 55,
JSCE, in print.
Wei.,G., J.T. Kirby, S.T. Grilli and R. Subramanya
(1995): A fully nonlinear Boussinesq model for
surface waves: Part 1 Highly nonlinear unsteady
waves, J. Fluid Mech., 294, 71-92.



4.1.1 Tsunami Intrusion in Ports

Tsunamis propagating near shore are subject to wave
transformation, such as wave shoaling, refraction,
diffraction and reflection, as shown in Section 3.2, and
may be deformed into a bore with and without
undulation and/or a breaking tsunami, depending on
submarine topography. However, tsunamis striking
ports are, in general, neither bore-like tsunami nor
breaking tsunami because the water depth of ports in
the entrances of ports is deep. Nonetheless tsunamis
can assume complicated features associated with the
geography configured by breakwaters, quays and
other port facilities.

For a port protected by offshore breakwaters, a
tsunami wave usually does not overtop the breakwater,
because the tsunami is not like a bore and water
elevation due to the tsunami is usually lower than the
crest height of breakwater. This causes the tsunami to
intrude into a port through openings in the
breakwaters. Thus, the water elevation within the port
is relatively slow and people may have time to escape
to nearby buildings.

However, if the tsunami is very large and overtops the
breakwaters, a huge mass of water will suddenly
intrude into the port, resulting in sudden inundation of
land areas in the port with little time for evacuation.

4.1.2 Tsunami Around Breakwaters

A tsunami that passes through the open sections of the
breakwaters in both flooding and receding phases
increases its flow velocity. Such a high-speed tsunami
can damage the open sections of breakwaters, causing
erosion of breakwater mounds and scattering of
breakwater heads, as shown in Section 5.1. Moreover,
the high speed flows create eddies around the opening
section of breakwaters, as shown in Fig. 4.1. The high
speed flow by the tsunami around breakwaters
precludes the maneuvering of vessels.

Fig. 4.1: Eddy in Kushiro port formed by the 2003 Off
Tokachi Earthquake Tsunami (Photo courtesy of Japan
Coast Guard)

4.1.3 Tsunami in Water Area of a Port

Figure 4.2 shows the measured tsunami height at
Beruwala fishery port in Sri Lanka when it was struck
by the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami. The tsunami
height in the port was 2.35 m above sea level at the
time of tsunami, which is less than half that outside of
the port. Since the open section of the breakwater is
90 m in width, the amount of water intruding into the
port by the tsunami was limited, minimizing tsunami
damage in the port.

Fig. 4.2: Tsunami heights in and around Beruwala fishery
port due to the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami (Tomita and
Honda, 2008)

Figures 4.3 and 4.4 illustrate the complicated
interactions between a tsunami and a harbor by means
of numerical simulation results. The incident tsunami
height around the breakwater is approximately 3 m
and the wave period is around 30 minutes in this case.
The characteristics of tsunami behavior are as follows:
1) The tsunami height in the port is not reduced by
the breakwater as the cross-section area of the
open section of the breakwater is not small
enough in this case.
2) Although the tsunami height in the port varies
relatively smoothly, the effect of reflection can be
observed in the figure. High tsunamis may appear
at a closed-off section surrounding quays and
other structures.
3) A tsunami intruding into the port causes high
speed water particle velocity locally (more than 5
m/s), not only around the opening section of the
breakwater but in some areas such as a curved
part or locally-shallow part as shown in Fig 4.4.
4) A tsunami intruding the port also causes very
complicated flow fields including circulating
currents in and out the port as in Fig 4.4(b).

Maximum tsunami height (m)

Fig. 4.3: Tsunami maximum height

The behavior of a tsunami in the port depends not
only on the width of the breakwater opening sections
but also the space of the water area in the port. If the
water area is small, the water level in the port may be
quickly raised by the intrusion of the tsunami. On the
other hand, if the port has a wide water area, the water
elevation will be reduced, resulting in limited
inundation. It should be also noted that the resonance
effect is very important as mentioned in 3.3.
Complicated tsunami behavior can be simulated by
ordinary numerical tsunami simulations.

Maximum velocity (m/s) Maximum velocity (m/s)

Fig. 4.4(a): Tsunami-induced maximum flow

Fig. 4.4(b): Tsunami-induced flow at 23minutes after

4.1.4 Tsunami on Land Area of a Port

If the water level induced by a tsunami is higher than
the height of the ground level of a port, seawater will
intrude into the land areas of the port. Since the land
area of a port is often low and flat to facilitate
cargo-handling, there is a high risk of flooding of wide
areas in a short period after the start of inundation.
Figure 4.5 shows the flooded Otsu fishery port after
the 2003 Off Tokachi Earthquake Tsunami (Tomita et
al., 2003). The height of the tsunami striking the port
was 2.4 m, and the land area was consequently
inundated. Since the tsunami height was not very large,
the tsunami running up the land had a less destructive
wave force, as can be seen from the picture, but did
carry away fishing vessels. Tsunamis flooding the flat
port areas can be considered as flows rather than
waves, because the incident tsunami is neither a
bore-like tsunami nor a broken tsunami.

Fig 4.5: Inundated land area of the Otsu fishery port due to
the 2003 Off Tokachi Earthquake Tsunami (Photo courtesy
of Tokachi Port and Harbor Office, Hokkaido Bureau,
Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism,

Fig. 4.6: Containers drifting after a tsunami (Photo
courtesy of Hiroo Coast Guard Station, Japan Coast

Tsunamis on land may cause not only vessels but also
containers, cars and tanks to float and drift. Some of
them can hit port facilities and other structures, and
some will be pulled into the sea by the retreating
tsunami, as shown in Fig. 4.6 which shows drifting
containers after the 2003 Off Tokachi Earthquake
Tsunami (Tomita et al., 2003). Some vessels are lifted
onto the land by the flooding tsunami. In fact, small
boats, fishing boats, dredgers, and a power plant barge
drifted into many ports and harbors due to the 2004
Indian Ocean Tsunami. Oil tanks can also float and be
washed away by a tsunami flow on land.

It should also be noted that a tsunami propagates
through low places such as rivers and channels. When
the tsunami is receding, it also moves toward low land
places. A tsunami current near ports is usually violent
because the slope of the land is steep. The strong
current can drag floating debris including cars into the
water area of the port.

4.1.5 References

Tomita, T., K. Honda (2008): Tsunami dynamic
hazard map to enhance tsunami damage imaging,
Annual. J . Civil Eng. Ocean, 24, 165-170 (in
J apanese).
Tomita, T., H. Kawai, and T. Kakinuma (2004):
Tsunami disasters and tsunami characteristics due
to the Tokachi-oki Earthquake in 2003, Tech. Note
Port and Airport Res. Inst., 1082, in J apanese.


4.2.1 Introduction

This section addresses impacts to port facilities being
of significant interest to a number of public and
private port entities. This section starts with an
overview of port impacts, follows with methods for
quantifying port impacts and ends with a summary
and conclusions. It should be noted that while this
section deals principally with large vessels, the same
lessons and approaches are applicable to smaller craft.

4.2.2 Impacts of the Indian Ocean on Port

This section addresses the impacts of the Indian
Ocean Tsunami on several ports within Sri Lanka and
India. Other ports were also impacted by the tsunami
especially in Indonesia. Nevertheless, lessons
illuminated by the Sri Lankan and Indian examples
serve to illustrate the principle issues relevant to
tsunamis impacts on ports.

Sri Lankan Ports
The port of Colombo, shown in Fig. 4.7, consists of 2
modern container terminals and a cargo terminal.
The facility is located on the west coast of Sri Lanka.
The port had a container throughput of 2 million
twenty foot equivalent units (teu) in 2004. The water
area of the port is 200 hectares, the land area, 130
hectares. Recorded water levels at the port indicate
that the tsunami height was on the order of 2.6 m
(about 1.9 m above still water). The port sustained
minimal damage during the tsunami. The damages
were limited to minor flooding and the port was back
in operation a few days after the event. The one
mishap of consequence was that a ship maneuvering
through the entrance during the storm lost control
owing to the unusual and excessive flow velocities.
After the crew abandoned ship, this vessel ran
aground on the seaward side of the south breakwater
and had to be salvaged.

The relatively small Port of Galle is located on the
southern coast of Sri Lanka, see Fig. 4.8. The
estimated tsunami height at this port was 5.3 m above
normal mean tide. Damage experienced at the port
consisted of: (1) capsizing of a vessel, (2) placement
of a dredge on top of a wharf (see Fig. 4.9), (3)
building damage, (4) limited breakwater damage, and
(5) deposition of 2 m of sediment in the harbor basin.
Trincomalee port facilities were not substantively
damaged by the tsunami.

Indian Ports
The port of Chennai is located on the east coast of
India and is comprised of inner, older, harbor basin
and an outer, newer, harbor basin as shown in Fig.
4.10. This important harbor shipped 1.5 million teus
in 2004. Multipurpose and bulk berths are located in
the inner harbor, container and liquid bulk berths, in
the outer harbor. The tsunami height at this harbor
has been estimated at 2.8 m. Figure 4.11 shows
tsunami waters draining from container stacks in the
outer harbor over the wharf face; interestingly none of
the containers appear to have been dislodged by the
event. The principle impact of the tsunami was to
part vessel moorings (3 vessels parted all lines and
were left to drift within the harbor).
Tsunami-induced currents moved these vessels around
the harbor causing the same to collide with other
vessels, piers, and cargo handling equipment, See Fig.
4.12 through 15. Fortunately, a tanker was not
seriously damaged which could have led to an oil spill.
Additionally, strong currents scoured and undermined
some of the breakwater structures.

Port Blair is located in the Andaman Islands and is
one of the few ports damaged both by tsunami waters
as well as direct earthquake, ground shaking. The
tsunami wave height was about 3 m. Tsunami water
damage is typified in Figs. 16 and 17.

4.2.3 Tsunami Port Damages

Overall, principal port damages can be summarized
as: (1) damages resulting from parting of vessel
moorings, (2) damages resulting from out-of-control
movements of maneuvering or unmoored vessels
transported by tsunami-induced currents, (3) damages
when vessels are lifted out of the water onto piers,
quays or port fastland, and (4) damages owing to
tsunami-induced sediment scour or deposition. An
approach quantifying the impacts of tsunamis on
moored and maneuvering vessels is described below.

Fig. 4.7: Port of Colombo, Sri Lanka

Fig. 4.8: Galle Harbor, Sri Lanka

Fig. 4.9: Dredge grounded on top of wharf, Galle Harbor,
Sri Lanka

Fig. 4.10: Port of Chennai, India

Fig. 4.11: Exiting tsunami waters, Port of Chennai, India

Fig. 4.12: Unmoored container vessel, Outer Harbor, Port
of Chennai, India

Fig. 4.13: Unmoored tanker transported by tsunami
currents in outer harbor, Port of Chennai, India

Fig. 4.14: Unmoored bulk ship, Inner Harbor, Port of
Chennai, India

Fig. 4.15: Collision of three vessels, Port of Chennai, India

Fig. 4.16: Vessel deposited on pier by tsunami, Port Blair,

Fig. 4.17: Damaged drydock, Port Blair, India

4.2.3 Basic Experiments on Mooring of Ships

The damages to large ships due to tsunami can be
significant as mentioned in Chapter 4.2.2. However
the mooring forces calculated using ordinary ship
motion simulation programs are not large. Ohgaki et
al.(2009) conducted a series of model experiments to
clarify the motions of the moored ships and the
response of mooring facilities caused by tsunami. The
experimental results are introduced below to explain
the fundamental characteristics of tsunami forces on
ships and mooring of ships.

Experimental Procedures
The model experiments were conducted at the Port
and Airport Research Institute (PARI) by using a wave
basin and ship model. The tensions of the mooring
ropes and the reaction forces of the fenders were
obtained. Also, the six component motions of a
moored ship were obtained by three-dimensional
imaging analysis.

The model scale is 1/50. In the model experiments, the
output power of the pumps at the both ends of the
basin was controlled to simulate the tsunami by the
reciprocating flow. Table 4.1 and Fig.4.18 show the
model ship dimensions and a photograph of the
moored ship. The ship is 50,000DWT container ship.
The displaced weight and the draft of the ship were set
under the full load condition.

The mooring pier is a pile type structure, which does
not disturb the tsunami flow. The mooring ropes are
the nylon eight ropes with a diameter of 100 mm in
the field. The tension characteristics of the model
ropes were scaled down to the cube root of 1/50 to
satisfy the Froude similitude law. Table 4.2 shows the
experiment condition. The incident angles of tsunami
flows were set 0, 30, 60 and 90 degrees. Tsunami
flows are sinusoidal currents with three kinds of
tsunami periods and the maximum velocities.

Fig.4.19 shows the arrangement of eight mooring
ropes, four fenders and six mooring posts to moor the
ship. The tensions of the mooring ropes (B-1, B-2, B-3,
B-4, B-5 and B-6) were measured at the same
intervals by the load cells. The rating capacity of B-2
and B-5 is 50N (6250kN), that of B-1 and B-6 is 10N
(1250kN) and that of B-3 and B-4 is 20N (2500kN).
The tensions of B-2 and B-5 indicate the total tension
of two breast lines, respectively. The reaction forces of
four fenders (FD-1, FD-2, FD-3 and FD-4) were also
measured by the load cells. The rating capacity of
them is 50N (6250kN).

Experimental Results
Fig.4.20 shows the maximum values of the motions of
the moored ship, the tensions of mooring ropes and
the total reaction forces of four fenders against the
tsunami incident angles under the condition of that the
tsunami velocity is 255mm/s (1.80m/s) with the full
load condition. The response characteristics of the
moored ship are changed greatly by the tsunami
incident angle because the drag and inertia
coefficients are changed. Surging is large when the
incident angle are 0 and 30 degrees. Conversely,
swaying becomes large with an increase of the
incident angle. The tensions of B-1 are relatively
small compared to the tensions of B-2. The tension of
B-2 becomes especially large with an increase of the
incident angle. The total reaction force of fenders
becomes large with an increase of the incident angle.

The experimental results well agree with calculations
using estimated drag and inertia coefficients. The drag
coefficient varies significantly (approximately from
zero to 3 with the change of the incident angle . The
mooring force becomes large with an increase of
incident angle because the drag coefficient and the
projected area against the tsunami flow become large.
It should be emphasized that when the incident angle
is zero the mooring force is not large since drag force
is small. When the incident angle is zero the inertia
force is predominant although the value is not large
since the acceleration is not large due to very long
period of tsunami compared with those of storm

0 30 60 90


0 30 60 90


0 30 60 90



0 30 60 90




0 30 60 90







Fig.4.20 Ship Motion, Rope Tensions and Fender
Reaction Forces
Table 4.1.. Ship Dimensions

Fig. 4.18. Arrangement of Model in Basin

Table 4.2 Experiment Condition

Fig.4.19. Arrangement of the Moored Ship and the
Mooring Facilities

Unit Prototype Value Model Value
Load Condition Full Full
Displaced Weight DWT 48,000 0.384
Length m 216.5 4.33
Width m 31.5 0.63
Draft m 11.0 0.22
Surging s 133 18.8
Swaying s 62 8.8
Water Depth m 15.0 0.3
Setup Condition
Incident Angle 0, 30, 60, 90
85, 170, 254s
(10, 20, 30min
Maximum Velocity
99, 152, 255mm/s
(0.70, 1.07, 1.80m/s)
Reciprocating Flow
Fundamental Characteristics of Ship Mooring
The following facts can be derived from the
experiments to understand the ship mooring against
1) Even though the speed of tsunami current is large
the drag force is not significant if the direction of
the current is parallel to the ship (0 degree). This
is the case for properly moored ships at ordinary
quay walls.
2) The inertia force due to tsunami is usually larger
than the drag force when the incident angle is zero.
Since the acceleration of the tsunami current is not
significant the mooring force is not large at the
angle of zero degree.
3) If the ship is moored using dolphins for example,
the tsunami current is usually not zero. Then the
drag coefficient becomes very large and the
projected area becomes large. Therefore the drag
force becomes large resulting breakage of the
mooring system.
4) It is suggested that the ship maneuvering is not so
difficult for large ships with large propulsion
power if the direction of the ship is parallel to the
tsunami direction. The ship maneuvering becomes
difficult around the breakwater mouth areas due to
intensified tsunami current speed and abrupt
change of current direction there as mentioned in
chapter 4.1.

4.2.4 Calculation of Tsunami Forces and vessel

Moored vessels are subject to three physical
phenomena during a tsunami: (1) vertical lifting of the
vessel due to rise in water level (VWL), (2) horizontal
forces due to accelerated currents (HAC) which can
be quasi-static or dynamic, and (3) dynamic horizontal
forces from leading tsunami waves (HLW). The
authors have found it possible to approximate tsunami
loads on moored ships using state of practice
numerical models as described below for the VWL
and HAC cases. While HLW loads can be
approximated by the HAC approach, more research is
necessary to fully develop the HLW case.

VWL Approach
A number of static mooring analysis models are
available to evaluate the increase in mooring line
loads associated with large increases in water level
(see Headland et al 2006.) The model used here was
developed by the lead author and was published in the
U.S. Navys design manual DM 26.4- Fixed Moorings
(1985). The software incorporates the vessel
mooring geometry, nonlinear mooring line
characteristics, and can be used to evaluate an increase
in water level. This is a typical problem for vessels
moored by means of synthetic and wire lines in large
tidal ranges. It is typically necessary to tend or
adjust mooring lines while the water level rises and
falls in order to prevent breakage. A typical mooring
line pre-tension of 15-20% of the line breaking
strength is applied in order to prevent slack lines
(which result in large vessel movements) at the lowest
water level under normal conditions. These same
lines must, however, be loosened at high tide in order
to prevent the lines from parting. For the case of a
tsunami, the water level can rise 3-5m in several
minutes eliminating the possibility for line tending
with the concomitant risk of line parting. An example
analysis is presented below for a typical
Post-Panamax container ship; the ship is moored by
means of synthetic/wire lines, see Fig. 4.21. The
ship has a length, beam and draft of 305m, 43m, and
12m, respectively.

Mooring analyses were prepared for a range of
tsunami water level increases and are summarized in
Fig. 4.22. The maximum allowable mooring line
load should be less than 55% of the line minimum
breaking load (MBL.) The analyses clearly show
that the mooring lines are significantly overstressed
for the 2 m height and break for the 3-4 m heights. It
should be noted that the analysis is based on the
assumption that the lines were all properly pre-loaded
(i.e. evenly loaded at 20 tonnes.) If this were not
the case, then it is likely that lines would have parted
at lower relative water level increases. The results
presented in Figure 4.19 clearly show that typical
moored vessel arrangements are vulnerable to tsunami
wave heights comparable to those experienced in Sri
Lanka and India during the Indian Ocean tsunami.
The analyses are consistent, for example, with the
experience at the Port of Chennai.

Dykstra et al (2006) report tsunami modeling results
for the Port of Long Beach and Los Angeles. Figure
4.23 shows, for a hypothesized Palos Verde landslide
scenario with an approximate return period 10,000
years, that the maximum tsunami height at any berth
location in the port complex is 3m or less with the
exception of a very isolated area. Thus Fig. 4.22
indicates that only a very small portion of the berths
would be vulnerable to line overstressing or parting
owing to water level rise alone so long as the ship
were moored properly and the lines were judiciously

Fig. 4.21: Typical mooring line arrangement for a
post-panamax container ship

Fig. 4.22: Mooring line analysis for various tsunami
heights (VWL)

HAC Approach
Ship motions were computed using the TERMSIM
model developed by MARIN. While not developed
for tsunami analysis (it cannot simulate a rapid rise in
water level), it can perform a full dynamic analysis of
the tsunami-induced currents. The same
vessel/mooring arrangement used above was modeled
here. The water level and current field at a particular
location in the port complex is shown in Fig. 4.24;
dynamic mooring results are presented in Figs. 4.24
thru 27 which show that the hypothetical tsunami
currents are not sufficient to part the mooring lines.

Water Level [m]
Above 7
6.5 - 7
6 - 6.5
5.5 - 6
5 - 5.5
4.5 - 5
4 - 4.5
3.5 - 4
3 - 3.5
2.5 - 3
2 - 2.5
1.5 - 2
1 - 1.5
0.5 - 1
0 - 0.5
Below 0
Undefined Value
0.0 0.5 1.0 1.5 2.0 2.5 3.0 3.5 4.0 4.5 5.0 5.5 6.0 6.5 7.0 7.5 8.0 8.5 9.0 9.5
(Units inkilometer)
Water Level

Fig. 4.23: Tsunami height within the ports of Los Angeles
and Long Beach for a hypothetical even

0 500 1000 1500 2000 2500
Time (sec)


0 500 1000 1500 2000 2500
Time (sec)




Fig. 4.24: Hypothetical tsunami-induced water level and
current velocity
0 500 1000 1500 2000 2500
Time (sec)


Fig. 4.25: Head mooring line loads
0 500 1000 1500 2000 2500
Time (sec)


Fig. 4.26: Spring Mooring Line Loads
0 500 1000 1500 2000 2500
Time (sec)


Fig. 4.27: Stern mooring line load

4.2.5 Maneuvering Analysis

It is clear from the Sri Lankan and Indian experience
that tsunamis pose very considerable threats to both
maneuvering vessels as well as vessels that have
broken from their moorings. Accelerated
tsunami-induced currents are the principle mechanism
responsible for creating chaos. The SHIPMA
maneuvering model developed by MARIN was used
to demonstrate the impact of tsunami currents.
SHIPMA is a fully dynamic, time-domain, model that
incorporates an autopilot algorithm that keeps a vessel
exposed to given wind/wave/current conditions on a
desired track to the extent possible. Model input
includes vessel geometry and hydrodynamic
characteristics, engine/rudder properties, and
environmental conditions. With regard to
maneuvering ships, observations during the Indian
Ocean Tsunami make it clear that the velocities
generated by the tsunami can cause a temporary loss
of vessel control. The same Post-Panamax container
vessel and tsunami event above was modeled with
SHIPMA. Specifically, the vessel pathway during a
simple maneuver was evaluated for normal and
tsunami-induced currents.

Figure 4.28 shows that while the maneuver would be
impacted by the tsunami, it would not lose control.
The reader should remain aware, however, that the
model does not accurately model the wave effects as
mentioned above and simply models the tsunami
induced current field. The crest of the tsunami can
be seen in the left panel of Fig. 4.28 along with the
vessel track. The right panel shows vessel tracks with
and without the tsunami currents. The tsunami does
not cause an accident although additional work on the
front wave effects is warranted. The model results
also suggest the need to train pilots to become familiar
with the potential threats of a tsunami. Evasive
actions could be determined for a specific location in
order to avoid catastrophe.
4.2.6 Summary and Conclusions

Results of the present work are provided below:
Tsunamis can break ships from their moorings.
Once free, the vessels will drift under tsunami
currents which may cause them to collide with
other ships and/or harbor works. Tsunami
currents can also cause a maneuvering ship to
lose control.
Existing modeling tools offer an effective
means for examining the potential risks of
tsunami events in harbors. Static mooring
analysis (VWL) serves as a simple means for
a first order assessment of the vulnerability of
a moored ship to a tsunami.
Mooring analysis can be approximated using
existing dynamic modeling tools.
Dynamic maneuvering analysis is also
effective. Results from same can be used to
help pilots to prepare for and ameliorate the
potential risk of a tsunami.
Additional research is needed to develop a
tsunami wave force algorithm that would
better define dynamic loads for analysis.
Pilot training and mooring line management
could significantly reduce the risk of accident
during a tsunami event.

Fig. 4.28: Impact of tsunami-induced currents on ship

4.2.7 Reference

Dykstra, D.H., and W. J in (2006): Detailed modeling
of locally generated tsunami propagation into the
ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, Proc. 30th
Int. Conf. Coastal Eng., ASCE.
Headland J ., Smith E., Dykstra D., and Tibakovs, T.
(2006): Effects of tsunamis on moored
/maneuvering ships, Proc. of the 30th
International Conference, ASCE, pp.1603-1624.
Naval Facilities Engineering Command (1986): U.S.
Navys design manual DM 26.4- Fixed Moorings
Ohgaki, K., H. Yoneyama and T. Suzuki (2008):
Evaluation on Safety of Moored Ships and
Mooring Systems for a Tsunami Attack, Proc. of
Oceans '08/Techno-Ocean '08, MTS/IEEE, 6p.
Ohgaki, K., M. Tsuda, A. Kurihara, H. Yoneyama and
T. Hiraishi (2009): Fundamental Model
Experiments on Response Characteristics of a
Moored Ship and Mooring Facilities by Tsunami
Flow, Proc. of ISOPE-2009, pp.1124-1131.


4.3.1 Introduction

A tsunami can directly cause human casualties and
building destruction, as well as seriously damage
moving and moored ships. In particular, small ships
such as fishing boats and pleasure boats are easily
tossed about by a tsunami because of their small
displacement volume. Ships are difficult to steer and
can drift about. Ships berthed in a port are usually
moored with ropes and fenders, but they can drift
about when the mooring ropes become loose and/or
broken by a relatively small tsunami. Therefore, even
if the magnitude of a tsunami may not be very large,
small ships can be damaged. In addition, drifting ships
can cause secondary damage by hitting people and

Most reported ship damage due to tsunamis in the past
has been related to small vessels such as fishing boats.
Damage to small ships is classified as follows: drifting
of a ship, collision of a ship with a quay wall,
overturning / sinking of a ship, the casting ashore of a
ship, and collision of a ship with buildings.

4.3.2 Drift of Ships

In a fishing port, many fishing boats are moored at
quay walls and grounded on rampways. A small ship
such as a fishing boat can be easily affected by a
tsunami, freely drifting about if the mooring ropes
become loose and/or are broken. In addition, a fishing
boat grounded on land can be easily washed away
even if a tsunami is not very high, because the boats
are arranged to be easy to sail out. If a grounded
fishing boat is washed away and drifts about in the
harbor basin due to a tsunami of only about 1.5 m in
height, it is likely to come into contact with fishing
boats that are trying to take refuge in the harbor.

If the tsunami height becomes greater than the
elevation of land above the sea surface, a ship can be
washed onto the land by the tsunami. In general, the
height of a wharf above the sea surface in a fishing
port is around 2 m at maximum, and a fishing boat can
drift ashore if a tsunami of more than 2 m in height
attacks the port. As one example of this, a fishing boat
moved back and forth over the wharf with the
flooding and receding of a tsunami of around 3.5 m
that attacked the port. Figure 4.29 shows a fishing
boat that drifted onto the beach struck by a tsunami
around 5 m high. The fishing boat which had been
moored in the fishing port was washed away outside
the port, drifted about in the sea, and then was
stranded on the shore by the tsunami. A large ship
would usually not be set adrift unless the tsunami
height was more than 5 or 6 m.

Fig. 4.29: Fishing boat stranded on a beach (Tomita et al.,

4.3.3 Collision of Ships with Quay Walls and
Overturning / Sinking of Ships

Sometimes a ship set adrift by a tsunami is tossed
about by strong currents and overturned or sunk by
seawater intrusion into it. Overturning can also occur
due to imbalance of the mooring if some mooring
ropes are broken while some remains. Even a firmly
moored ship can be overturned due to the undertow of
a tsunami. Such overturning and sinking of a ship can
occur even when the tsunami height is small. In one
case, a 2-m tsunami caused a fishing boat moored at a
quay wall to be overturned when it was receding,
while another ship was damaged when its bottom
came into contact with the sea bed during the receding
of the tsunami. Figure 4.30 shows a photo of an
overturned fishing boat in a harbor basin after a
tsunami of around 2.5 m in height.

Figure 4.31 shows a collision of fishing boats near a
quay wall. One fishing boat was washed onto another
by a tsunami of more than 3.5 m in height. This
tsunami moved many fishing boats onto quays and
jetties and overturned or sank them. When the tsunami
height becomes around 5 m, most fishing boats can
drift about in a harbor basin while being tossed about
by the strong current, and can be sunk or washed onto
the land. When a tsunami of this level attacks a port,
even large vessels can be damaged. In one instance, a
7,000-ton cement carrier was overturned in a harbor
basin, and a 10,000-t container ship crashed into the

Fig. 4.30: Overturning of a fishing boat by receding
tsunami (Tanimoto et al., 1983)

Fig. 4.31: Collision of the fishing boat (Tanimoto et al.,

4.3.4 Casting ashore of Ships and Collision of Ships
with Buildings

Ships, which are washed ashore or set adrift by a
tsunami, are mostly left behind on land after being
transported by the undertow of the tsunami. Figure
4.32 shows a fishing boat stranded on a quay by a
tsunami. In this photo, a tsunami of about 2.5 m in
height flowed over the quay and the fishing boat was
left behind on it. Fishing boats can be stranded on a
jetty or cast on a quay by a tsunami around 2 or 3 m in

Figure 4.33 shows a damaged cargo ship of several
hundred tons stranded on a pier after a tsunami of
around 5 m in height. This tsunami caused many
fishing boats and cargo ships to drift ashore and
become cast on embankments and roads or rice fields.
In one case of a tsunami around 5 m high, a 1,000-ton
work ship moored in the harbor basin became
stranded on the quay. The box-type work ship has a
small draft and is therefore relatively easily set adrift.

When a tsunami is large, ships washed ashore by the
tsunami can collide with houses, destroying them or
causing heavy secondary damages. For example, a
4-m-high tsunami washed a fishing boat up a shallow
draft quay beyond the revetment, and it crashed into
the house.

In another case, a tsunami of around 5 m washed
ashore a cargo ship of several hundred tons, causing it
to crash into a house. Many fishing boats also drifted
ashore causing heavy secondary damage, such as the
collapse of buildings. Figure 4.34 shows a fishing boat
left on land and collapsed buildings.

When the height of a tsunami reaches around 7 m,
even a large cargo ship can be washed ashore. In one
case, a 2,500-ton power-generation plant ship moored
in a harbor basin was carried by a tsunami into a
residential area 3 km inland from the shore.

Fig. 4.32: A stranded fishing boat on a quay (Tomita et al.,

Fig. 4.33: A damaged cargo ship on a pier (Kochi Harbour
and Airport Construction Office

Fig. 4.34: Collision of a fishing boat with a house
(Takayama et al., 1994)

4.3.5 Conclusions

Table 4.3 shows the relationship between the
magnitude of a tsunami and ship damage. A tsunami
around 2 or 3 m in height can cause a small ship to
drift away, be overturned, sink, crash into a quay wall,
or become stranded on a quay or jetty. A tsunami 5 or
6 m or more in height can severely damage a small
ship and even large ships can drift away and be cast
up on land. Drifting ships can cause heavy secondary
damage to buildings and people. A tsunami 10 m or
more in height can cause a major disaster due to the
drifting of ships.

Table 4.3: Relationship between tsunami magnitude and
ship damage
Damage Pattern
height: more
than 2 or 3 m)
Collision with quay wall
Overturning / Sinking
Being cast ashore
height: more
than 5 or 6 m)
Being cast ashore
Collision with buildings
Collision with quay wall
Being cast ashore
Collision with buildings

4.3.6 References

Tomita, T., K. Honda, T. Sugano, and T. Arikawa
(2005): Field investigation on damage due to 2004
Indian Ocean Tsunami in Sri Lanka, Maldives and
Indonesia with tsunami simulation, Tech. Note Port
and Airport Res. Inst., 1110, in J apanese.
Tomita, T., H. Kawai, and T. Kakinuma (2004):
Tsunami disasters and tsunami characteristics due
to the Tokachi-oki Earthquake in 2003, Tech. Note
Port and Airport Res. Inst., 1082, in J apanese.
Takayama, T., Y. Suzuki, H. Tsuruya, S. Takahashi, C.
Gotoh, T. Nagai, N. Hashimoto, T. Nagao, T.
Hosoyamada, K. Shimosako, K. Endo, and T. Asai
(1994): Field investigations of the tsunami caused
by 1993 Hokkaido Nansei-oki Earthquake, Tech.
Note Port and Harbour Res. Inst., 775, in J apanese.
Tanimoto, K., T. Takayama, K. Murakami, S. Murata,
H. Tsuruya, S. Takahashi, M. Morikawa, Y.
Yoshimoto, S. Nakano, and T. Hiraishi (1983):
Field and laboratory investigations of the tsunami
caused by 1983 Nihonkai Chubu Earthquake, Tech.
Note Port and Harbour Res. Inst., 470, in J apanese.
Kochi Harbour and Airport Construction Office,
Shikoku Regional Development Bureau, Ministry
of Land, Infrastructure and Transport: Susaki Port
Brochure, in J apanese.


As discussed in Chapter 2 we have to learn much from
the disasters in the past. Table 5.1 shows the relationship
between tsunami height and damage caused by Tsunami
(Shuto, 1991). Tsunami with a wave height of less than
2m may not cause major disasters, only limited damage
in the sea and in the shore area. However, when the
wave height exceeds 4m, it may cause heavy casualties
including the destruction of houses and buildings. If it
exceeds 8m, it becomes fatally destructive and can
result in the massive loss of lives.

In the previous chapter the tsunami damage to ships are
discussed and the damage to port facilities is discussed
in this chapter. It should be noted that the damage
becomes significant where the tsunami is violent
especially when breaking. Therefore the major damages
occur in near shore areas.


5.1.1 Offshore/Deepwater

Storm waves in offshore deepwaters are usually very
severe while tsunami in deepwater is relatively calm.
Therefore, ordinary maritime facilities such as offshore
oil terminals in deepwater usually suffer no significant
tsunami damage.

5.1.2 Relatively Deepwater Areas in and around a

When the water depth becomes shallower, the tsunami
actions become more violent. However, facilities in
relatively deep water in and around ports such as
breakwaters and seawalls usually have sufficient
strength against tsunami action since they are designed
to withstand storm waves. No significant damage has
been recorded for such facilities around Japanese ports,
especially for outer breakwaters. However, damage due
to tsunami-induced rapid currents should be considered.
Local scouring around breakwater heads was observed
after the 1993 Hokkaido-Nanseioki Earthquake tsunami
(Takayama et al., 1994).

The East breakwater of Okushiri Port suffered scouring
at the head. Figure 5.1 shows the scouring damage due
to tsunami of more than 3 m. A shown in the figure the
caisson had settled down 1 m below the low water level
since not only the sandbed but also the rubble mound
was scoured (Tsuruya and Nakagawa, 1983).

Tsunami-induced current can cause scouring of the
seabed resulting in failure of breakwaters and seawalls.
In addition, the change of seabed depth can lead to
shoaling of navigation channels.

Fig. 5.1: Scouring damage of the east breakwater of Okushiri
Port (Takayama et.a. 1994; Tsuruya 1993)

5.1.3 Inner Harbor Water Areas

Figure 5.2 shows the north jetty in an inner area of
Okushiri Port. The jetty was a caisson breakwater, and
its caissons had slid significantly due to the water level
difference between the sea side and the harbor side. The
breakwaters, jetties or quay walls in an inner harbor are
usually not expected to be exposed to severe wave
actions and therefore may suffer damage if exposed to
tsunami action.

Fig. 5.2: Disrupted caissons of north jetty in Okushiri Port

As discussed in 2.7, a deck of a piled jetty at Phang-Nga
fishing port in Thailand was damaged by the Indian
Ocean Tsunami. Precast RC slabs were subjected to the
uplift forces of the tsunami. The lift force is a total of its
buoyancy and the lift force of the tsunami current.

5.1.4 Near Shore Areas

In near shore areas, tsunami front breaks and severe
impact forces and rapid currents cause damage to
breakwaters, seawalls and other facilities.

Figure 5.3 shows scattered wave dissipating concrete
blocks from detached breakwaters in a near shore area.
Due to the strong current of the breaking tsunami in a
shore area, concrete blocks can be moved significantly
once they start drifting.

Figure 5.4 shows a small seawall in Sri Lanka which
had settlements but was almost intact even against a 4-m
tsunami in a shore area. The seawall is a revetment with
rubble stones covering a small beach scarp. Rubble
stones are relatively resistant to tsunami currents

Figure 5.5 shows a seawall in a shore area in Taisei
Town near a fishery port in Japan which was tilted
seaward by a tsunami. This is a typical failure of
seawalls due to receding tsunami. In designing the
seawall, attention is paid to the positive water pressure
due to storm waves on seawalls in the near-shore area
but not to tsunami pressure, especially the negative
water pressure due to a receding tsunami. In the photo,
the wall has been displaced and scouring of the seawall
toe and body have consequently occurred.

Fig. 5.3: Scattered wave-dissipating concrete blocks
Nihonkai-Chubu Tsunami

Fig. 5.4: Surviving seawall in Sri Lanka

Fig. 5.5: Tilted seawall in Taisei Town in Japan

Table 5.1: Tsunami height and damage(Shuto1991)


5.2.1 Port Buildings

Figure 5.6 shows typical damage to a warehouse at Goal
Port in Sri Lanka. The inundation depth at the
warehouse was 3 m above the ground level (5.3 m
above sea level). The warehouse lay 60 m along the
quay and its height was about 8 m. The 30-cm-thick
concrete wall was not damaged although the doors were
broken and the stored items were spoiled.

Figure 5.7 shows a small building in a fishery port at
Hikkaduwa in Sri Lanka. The water rose above the first
floor (4.7 m above the sea level). The doors and
windows of the first floor were destroyed but the main
concrete walls remained intact as shown in the figure.
This is because concrete buildings are relatively strong
against tsunami, and the water pressure was reduced due
to the intrusion of water through the broken windows
and doors. It should be noted that the power of the
tsunami was reduced by the breakwaters of the fishery
port and the damage to the houses was less than the
damage outside the port.

5.2.2 Oil Storage Facilities

Figure 5.8 shows the oil tanks at the oil delivery
terminal of Knueng Raya Port to the east of Banda Ache
in Indonesia. Three tanks (17 m in diameter and 11 m in
height) were washed away by tsunami of more than 5 m
in height during the Indian Ocean Tsunami. The tanks
that were moved were empty and the remaining tanks
had been full of oil.

During the Niigata Earthquake in 1964 in Japan, fires
broke out due to sloshing (forced oscillating) of oil in
storage tanks in Niigata Port and the oil was spread due
to the tsunami, causing fires in the town near the port.
Spreading oil is very dangerous and contaminates the
5.2.3 Containers

Large-scale damage to container terminals due to
tsunami has fortunately not occurred. However, during
Hurricane Katrina many containers were washed outside
the port of Gulfport and destroyed houses. If a large
tsunami attacks a container terminal, similar damage can

Fig. 5.6: Warehouse at Goal Port in Sri Lanka

Fig. 5.7: A small building in a fishery port in Hikkaduwa

Fig. 5.8: Oil storage tanks that moved in Banda Aceh


Tsunami forces vary significantly due to tsunami wave
shoaling and breaking. The forces also depend on the
type of structure. The stability of port facilities should
be examined considering such variations and all phases
of tsunami attack including positive and negative peaks
and the impact of the tsunami front breaker. The
stability of the facilities refers to the stability of the
entire structure including the foundation, superstructure
and wall members.

Table 5.2: Design procedures of port facilities

Table 5.3: Areas depending on Tsunami Characteristics

Table 5.2 shows the design procedures for port facilities.
The studies on the methods of designing port facilities
to withstand a tsunami attack have been conducted for
many years (Fukui 1963; Kamel 1970; Lowe
1971) but not well established. However, methods used
to withstand sea waves and river currents can be used
considering the characteristics of incident tsunami. The
accumulated knowledge of coastal and river
engineering can be applied for the designs against
tsunamis. The most important and difficult point is
to evaluated properly the incident tsunami profiles
(height and current with direction) using numerical
tsunami simulations which introduced in chapter 3..

Table 5.3 shows the typical three areas depending on the
tsunami characteristics. Obviously in deepwater the
tsunami behaves like a gentle long period waves and the
pressure on a wall can be evaluated by a long wave
theory. The pressure varies slowly according the
elevation of tsunami. The areas near the shoreline (in
water and on land) are very dangerous since the tsunami
front is breaking and the current becomes vary rapid. In
such a breaking wave area breaking wave pressures
should be considered in addition to the slowly-varying
pressures. Instability and scouring of rock rubble and
seabed should be also considered carefully. The tsunami
becomes gentle after the breaking and the tsunami
behaves as a gently flow in such an onshore slow
current area where the pressure varies slowly.

5.3.1 Tsunami Forces on Vertical Structures

Vertical wall in deep water area
When the water depth is large, the tsunami force is a
slowly varying force and can be estimated relatively
easily. The tsunami force can be estimated roughly by
the tsunami height difference between the front side and
the back of the structure, which is obtained by numerical
simulation. The positive and negative peaks should be

Fig. 5.10: Tsunami pressure distribution on a caisson
(Tanimoto et al., 1983)

Tanimoto et al. proposed a design pressure formula of
tsunami for a caisson in deepwater considering a wave
force with a very long period wave. Figure 5.10 shows
the pressure distribution on the caisson wall at its
positive peak, where * is the elevation of water, p
the pressure intensity, is the mass density of water, g is
gravity acceleration and a
is the incident tsunami height.
Generation and Propagation of Tsunami
Incident Tsunami Profile
Height and Current with Direction
Design Considering the Tsunami Profile
Design against Storm Waves and/or Current


* and p
can be determined by the following equations:

* = 3.0 a
= 2.2 ga

Vertical wall in breaking wave area
In near shore areas, when a tsunami front breaks, the
impact pressure can act on the vertical walls in the area.
The impulsive pressure is still difficult to estimate and,
if possible, should be evaluated from physical model
experiments. The impact force is due to collision of the
water surface with a wall and is very similar to the
impact force due to waves. Roughly speaking, the
impact pressure is two or three times the static pressure
(Goda 1985; Takahashi, 1997). It should be noted that
the impact force is deeply dependent of the incident
angle of the tsunami and at the angle =90 degrees
the impact force is zero. This relation can be expressed
by cos

Dames and Moore (1981) and Asakura et al.(2003)
proposed a similar design impact pressure formula of
tsunami for a wall on land. Figure 5.11 shows the
pressure distribution on the wall, where * is the
elevation of water, p

is the pressure intensity at the

bottom of wall, is the mass density of water, g is
gravity acceleration and a
is the incident tsunami height.
* and p
can be determined by the following equations:

* = 3.0a
= 3.0 ga


Fig. 5.11: Tsunami pressure distribution for a wall on land

In addition to the impulsive pressure, the peak of the
slowly varying pressure should be evaluated from the
tsunami height in front of the wall using the results of
numerical calculation. The formula is used in the
manuals in U.S. and Japan (Federal Emergency
Management Agency (FEMA), 2000 and Okada,

It should be noted again that the evaluation of the
incident tsunami profile is very important to estimate the
pressures on the wall. Also it should be noted that
so-called soliton fission in addition to the ordinary
breaking of wave front should be checked (Ikeno; Yasuda and Takayama 2007) since the profile
is much affected by the topography and tsunami height.
Further studies have been done by to investigate the
impact forces (Ikeno, Kato 2006,
Lukkanaprasit et. al. 2008, Arikawa . 2009)

5.3.2 Stability of rubble mound

Rubble mound against rapid currents in water
Armor stones of rubble mounds of breakwaters and
seawalls will be scattered by rapid currents induced by
tsunami. The stability of the armor stones on the seabed
can be estimated based on water particle velocity. The
so-called CERC method with Isbashs number can be
employed for this purpose. For example, when the water
velocity is 6.26 m/s and the angle of slope of the rubble
mound is assumed to be zero with an Isbash number of
1.2, then the necessary mass of the stones is about 1000
kg. Care must be taken with respect to the stones on the
top and rear side of the structure.

Rubble mound against overtopping
Armor stones, especially the crest and downstream
armor stones of breakwaters and seawalls can be
scattered by strong overtopping tsunami currents. The
behavior of the armor stones is basically similar to that
due to long-period storm waves with the same run-up
height (CRIA/CUR 1991). The design of the armor
stones is also similar to that for weirs considering the
current velocity of the overtopping tsunami.
Schttrumpf and Van Gent (2001) proposed a formula
based on the free discharge weir formula to estimate the
velocity of the overtopping water as it flows down a
slope (Cuypers, 2003).

5.3.3 Forces on Small Bodies

Piles and pillars can be regarded as small bodies in
tsunami currents. Even small houses can be regarded as
small objects in large-scale tsunami currents. The total
forces F
on these objects can be evaluated by
considering the pressures on the front side wall and
back-side wall. However it can be obtained more
conveniently considering the drag force which is given
as follows:

= 0.5 C
A (5.5)

where V is the velocity of flow to the body and A is the
projected area of the body. C
is the drag coefficient for
the body. The velocity can be estimated by conventional
numerical simulations for tsunami inundation using
frictional loss due to land geometry. The impulsive
breaking wave forces on the small body can be
calculated considering the impact force on the front side
using Eq.(5.4) for example. The impact pressure on pile
was tested by many researchers (Tanimoto 1986)

5.3.4 Collision Forces

Collision of ships and other floating objects including
containers can cause serious damage to port facilities.
The collision forces F
can be estimated from the
collision velocity V
, the mass of the collision body and
the time t to decelerate the body as follows:

= m

/t (5.6)

The time to decelerate the body, which is difficult to
determine, is usually from 0.1 to 1.0 second depending
on the stiffness of the object and the wall. For a
container, the time is very short, being less than 0.1
second when it collides with a hard concrete wall
(FEAM 2000). Intensive studies are being done on the
collision forces including the forces on containers
( Matsumi 1999, Nori 2007, Yeom 2008).

5.3.5 Scour Protection

The scouring of sand bed can be estimated from
knowledge of scouring in river beds. Also seabed
scouring due to rapid tidal currents for bridge piers is
applicable and the protection method can be applied to
the scouring due to tsunami.

5.3.6 Receding Tsunami

Damaging effects due to receding tsunami should be
checked especially in the nearshore wave breaking area.
The pressure can be estimated as a slowly varying
pressure corresponding to the water level (Fig. 5.12).
For example, a seawall behind a beach is usually very
week against the negative force due to the receding
tsunami. The water level difference should be properly
evaluated. Also the down flow from the seawall to the
beach is usually strong which causes scouring of sand
bed in front of the wall. Protective measures should be
considered there.

Fig. 5.12: Force due to receding tsunami

5.3.6 References

Arikawa T. (2009): Behaviors of Concrete Walls under
Impulsive Tsunami Load,WCCE-ECCE-TCCE Joint
Conference, Earthquake & Tsunami, Turkey, 11p.
Asakura, R., I. Koji, et al. (2002): Tsunami wave force
acting on land structures, Coastal Engineering 2002;
Solving Coastal Conundrums: Proc. 28th
International Conf., Cardiff, Wales, 7-12 July 2002,
World Scientific, New Jersey, ed. Jane McKee Smith,
Vol. 1, 2003, 1,191 - 1,202
Coastal Engineering Research Center (1973): Shore
Protection Manual Vol. II, Department of Army Corps
of Engineers.
CIRIA/CUR (1991): Manual on the use of Rock in
coastal and shoreline engineering, London
Cuypers, K. (2003): Breakwater stability under tsunami
attack, TU DELFT.
Dames and Moore (1981): Design and Construction
Manual for Residential Buildings in Coastal High
Hazard Areas, prepared for Federal Emergency
Management Agency (FEMA), Federal Insurance
Administration, and U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban
Development, Washington D.C., FIA-7, 189 pp
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
(2000): Coastal Construction Manual Principles and
Practices of Planning, Siting, Designing, Constructing,
and Maintaining Residential Buildings in Coastal
Areas, 3rd edition, vol.3 (FEMA 55).
Fukui Y., Nakamura M., Shiraishi, H., and Sasaki
Y.(1963) : Hydraulic study on tsunami, Coastal
Engineering, Japan, pp.67-82.
Goda Y., (1985), Random Seas and Design of Maritime
Structures, University of Tokyo Press.
Ikeno M. Mori N., and Tanaka H. (2001) Experimental
study on tsunami force and impulsive force by a drifter
under breaking bore like tsunami, Proc. of Coastal
Engineering, JSCE, pp.846-850(in Japanese).
Ikeno M., Matsuyama M., Skakiyama T., and
Yanagisawa K. 82006): Effects of soliton fission and
wave breaking on tsunami force acting on breakwater,
International Conference on Coastal
Engineering, pp.5162-5174.
Kamel A. M. (1970): Laboratory study for design of
tsunami barrier, J. Waterways, Harbors and Coastal
Eng. Div., 96(4), 767-779.
Katoh M., Inagaki S., Fukuhama M.(2006): Wave
forceson coastal dike due to tsunami, Proc.30

International Conference on Coastal Engineering,
Lowe, R.E. (1971): Structural design criteria for tsunami
loads on Kuilima Hotel, Richard R. Bradshaw Inc.,
Structural Engineers, 79p.
Lukkunaprasit P., Cinnarasri C., Ruangrassamee A.,
Weesakul S., and Thanasisthit N. (2008):
Experimental Investigation of Tsunami Wave Forces
on Buildings with Openings, Solutions to Coastal
Disasters, ASCE, pp.82-93.
Matsutomi H. (1999) A practical formula for estimating
impulsive force due to driftwoods and variation
features of the impulsive forces, Journal of Hydraulic ,
Coastal and Environmental Engineering, JSCE, 621,
II-47, pp.111-127.
Nouri Y., Nistor I., Palermo D. and Saatcioglu M.,
(2007), Structural analysis for tsunami-induced force
and debris impact, Proceedings of International
Conference on Coastal Structures, ASCE, Venice,
Italy, pp.701-715.
Okada, T., Sugano,T., Ishikawa,T., Takai, S., and Tateno,
T. (2006). Tsunami load and structuural design of
tsunami refuge buildings, International Symposium
on Disaster Mitigation, ISMD, The Building Center
of Japan.
Schuttrumpf, H. and M.R.A. van Gent (2003): Wave
overtopping at seadikes, Proc. Coastal Structures
2003, 431-443.
Shuto, N. (1991): Tsunami intensity and disasters, In
Tsunamis in the world: Fifteernth Int. Tsunami Symp.,
1991, ed. S Tinti, Kluwer Academic Publishedrs,
Dorhrecht, The Netherlands, 1993, 197-216.
Tanimoto, K. (1983): On the hydraulic aspects of
tsunami breakwaters in Japan, In Tsunamis - Their
science and engineering, eds. K. Iida and T. Iwasaki,
Terra Scientific Publishing Co., Tokyo, Japan,
Tanimoto, K., Takahashi, S., Kaneko, T., and Shiota, K.
(1986): Impulsive breaking wave forces on an
inclined pile exerted by random waves, Proceedings
of 20
International Conference on Coastal
Engineering, ASCE, pp.2288-2302.
Takayama, T. et al. (1994): Field investigations of the
tsunami caused by 1993 Hokkaido Nanseioki
Earthquake, Technical Note of Port and Harbour Res.
Takahashi, S. (1997): Breakwater design, Handbook of
Port and Harbor Engineering, Edited by G. Tsinker,
Chapman & Hall, 951-1043.
Tsuruya, H., K. Kimura and Y. Nakagwa (1995):
Damage of offshore breakwater due to the 1993
Hokkaido Nansei-Oki Earthquake Tsunami, Proc.Int.
Workshop on Wind and Earthquake Engineering for
Offshore and Coastal Facilities at University of
California, Berkeley, PP.385-390.
Yeom G., Mizutni, N., Shiraishi K., Usami A., Miyajima,
S., and Tomita T. (2008): Behavior of drifting
containers due to tsunami and collision forces,
Proceedings of 31st International Conference on
Costal Engineering, ASCE, pp.37311-3756.
Yasuda, T. and Takayama T. (2007): Tsunami pressure
acting upon a vertical wall on a beach, Proc. Int. Conf.
Coastal Structures, ASCE, Venice, Italy, pp.693-700.
Yasuda, T., Takayama T. Mase H. (2008): Proceedings
of 31st International Conference on Costal
Engineering, ASCE, pp.3719-3730.



6.1.1 Target of Disaster Management in Ports

Preventing a tsunami strike is difficult but the ensuing
disaster can be reduced or mitigated. Disaster
management has three purposes: 1) human safety, and 2)
reduction of economic loss and 3) business continuity.
These factors, shown in Fig. 6.1, be should considered
separately in port disaster management.

Fig. 6.1: Purpose of the tsunami disaster management in

Human safety: The primary objective of disaster
management is human safety. The target is Zero
Casualty by Tsunami. To save the lives of people from
tsunami actually means safe evacuation. To realize this,
adequate education about tsunami and tsunami disaster
is essential. Also important is information about tsunami,
in other words, early warning from warning centers of
authorized agencies. Prompt transmission of the
warning to all everyone in port areas is also vital. Safe
evacuation routes and emergency evacuation places
(shelters) are indispensable. In addition, refugee
facilities for those affected by a tsunami attack should
be prepared.

Reduction of economic loss: The secondary objective is
to reduce the economic loss due to tsunami attacks. In
the case of a large tsunami, it is important to minimize
the damage especially in economically important coastal
areas such as ports. Therefore structural
countermeasures should be taken into consideration to
protect economically important facilities and facilities
subject to danger in order to minimize secondary
devastating damages.

Business continuity: If port operations stop for very long
periods all economic activities through and around the
port will be significantly disrupted and shipping
companies may move to other ports. In addition, the
recovery work in cities near a port greatly depends on
the availability of the port. It is therefore very important
to consider business continuity planning to recover port
functions as soon as possible. Theresilience of all port
systems against tsunamis must be carefully considered.

6.1.2 Disaster Management with Scenarios of

C-Scenario and P-Scenario: The keys to disaster
management include assessment of disaster at present
and disaster mitigation planning, which can be
implemented by preparing two kinds of disaster
scenarios: one is for the current status of preparedness
(C-Scenario) and the other for improved preparedness
(Planned Scenario: P-Scenario), as shown in Fig. 6.2.

Fig. 6.2: Scenarios for tsunami disaster management

The scenario for current preparedness (C-Scenario) is
actually disaster assessment in the current situation,
which allows us to understand the existing risks
including risks of damage to facilities and the impact on
business. The planned scenario of a disaster
(P-Scenario) is actually disaster mitigation planning in
which actual and concrete target levels of Human
Safety, Economic Loss and Business Continuity are
determined. Measures to reach the target should be
discussed and prepared including structural and
non-structural countermeasures with consideration of

Sub-scenario: C and P scenarios should comprise
sub-scenarios from earthquake to recovery as shown
in Fig. 6.3.

Earthquake scenarios can be provided by seismologists
and the tsunami scenarios can be prepared using the
earthquake scenarios. The sub-scenarios of earthquake
Disaster Prevention
Disaster Reduction/Mitigation
1. Safety of People =Zero Casualty
2. Reduction of Economic Loss =Minimize the
Damages and
3. Business Continuity =Early Recovery (Level
and Date of Recovery)
Disaster Assessment at present
C-Scenario =Current Scenario with Current
Disaster Mitigation Planning
P-Scenario =Planned Scenario with
Improved Preparedness
and tsunami are the same for C-scenario and P-scenario.
Comprehensive disaster scenarios are needed, not just
inundation. We also need evacuation and rescue
scenarios to save lives and recovery scenarios for
business continuity.

We need at least one set of scenarios for the worst case
for a port, considering the occurrence probability even if
the value is estimated very roughly. If possible, different
sets of scenarios should be prepared for different levels
of tsunamis. The tsunami scenarios in ports will be
discussed in 6.2.

Fig. 6.3:Sscenario with sub-scenarios

6.1.3 Business Continuity Management in Ports

Business continuity management team: For the business
continuity management, a dedicated team should be
organized within a top port management body since this
is deeply related to the survival of the port. The business
continuity plan should be incorporated in a port
development plan.

The business continuity management team should write
the C-scenario (the scenario with current preparedness),
at first, to understand what will actually occur due to an
expected tsunami considering all the activities related to
the port.

Then the team should write the P-scenario (the planned
scenario) as shown in Fig. 6.4. The team should
determine the level and time at each step of recovery in
addition to the allowable level of economic loss
(damage to facilities and secondary effects). The team
should also discuss the non-structural and structural
measures to achieve the target. It is important to grasp
the vital points toward achieving the set target by
understanding the whole disaster..

The team should invite all organizations relevant to the
port including central/local governments to discuss the P
scenario and countermeasures. Not only structural but
also non-structural countermeasures should be well
planned and implemented steadily starting from the
most vital and effective measures. The team should
consider the resilience of the port against tsunami
disaster in business continuity planning.

All the people related to the port should have access to
the plan and understand their respective roles. The plan
must be periodically reviewed by all relevant personnel.

Hazard maps: Using the scenarios, knowledge
dissemination and training are essential to save lives,
reduce economic loss and continue port business.
Hazard maps can be made from the scenarios. Recently,
hazard maps are being integrated into disaster
management maps which are explained in 6.3.

Evacuation of ships in ports: Special attention should be
paid to ships in port and the people in the ships for
tsunami disaster management. Usually tsunami-induced
current in shallow seas especially in ports is very strong
even if the tsunami height is not very large and therefore
mooring and maneuvering of ships in shallow seas is
very difficult. The ships in port have to evacuate from
the port or stay in safer places with
strengthened/loosened mooring if time is limited.
Damage to a ship can be serious as sunken ships hinder
maneuvering of other vessels in and around the port.
Recently, secondary damage due to drifting ships and
floating objects such as containers are becoming
increasingly important. The evacuation of ships is
discussed in 7.3.

Fig. 6.4: Business continuity management

Planning of Countermeasures
Implementing of Countermeasures
Education/ Drills
Planning of Countermeasures
Implementing of Countermeasures
Education/ Drills
Scenario with sub-scenarios
Earthquake Scenario Tsunami Scenario
Evacuation Scenario Disaster Scenario
Rescue Scenario Recovery Scenario

Tsunami scenarios are essential for tsunami disaster
management. As already mentioned, the scenarios
include the sub-scenarios from tsunami generation to
recovery from disaster. Two kinds of scenarios are
needed. The first is the scenario with the current status
of preparedness (C-Scenario) and the second is the
scenario considering tsunami disaster mitigation
planning (P-Scenario).

It is actually difficult to predict tsunamis and disasters
and therefore it is not easy to write even C-scenario, not
to mention P-scenario. However, the scenario with
sub-scenarios from tsunami generation to recovery from
disaster are indispensable even though they may be
simplified or rough. One approach is to use historical
tsunamis and their disasters. A historical tsunami
disaster can show the sub-scenarios from earthquake
generation to recovery and can help plan current
scenarios with modifications based on the current
situation in the area.

6.2.1 Scenario with Current Status of
Preparedness (C-scenario)

(1) Earthquake sub-scenario: Tsunamis are usually
generated by subduction zone earthquakes, which are
repeated in the same area with a return period of several
tens to hundreds of years due to accumulation of energy
by tectonic-plate movement. Recently, seismologists can
estimate asperity and rapture (location and depth of fault,
strike direction of fault action and other seismological
conditions) in subduction zones. In tsunami-affected
countries, seismologists are preparing scenarios on
possible subduction zone earthquakes with their return
periods. Tsunamis are estimated from the earthquake

(2) Tsunami sub-scenarios: From the possible
subduction zone earthquakes, possible tsunamis can be
calculated numerically with their propagation to near
port areas. Tsunami generation and propagation are
explained in Chapter 3.

To develop disaster sub-scenarios, several tsunamis need
to be considered. Attacks by tsunamis not only from
nearby earthquakes but also from distant ones need to be
considered. The highest tsunami for the district under
consideration should be used to develop the disaster

If possible, several levels of tsunamis should be
employed to consider the disaster scenarios. Table 6.1
presents examples of three levels of tsunamis for the
district under consideration. It should be noted that the
table is just one example in a tsunami-prone country like
J apan, and that the tsunami levels should be selected
considering the expected tsunamis and damages in the
area being considered. Another factor difficult to
estimate is the tsunami occurrence period, which is
usually based on rough estimates. In J apan,
economically important areas are protected using coastal
defenses against Level II type tsunamis in Table 1. The
Level III tsunami is the worst-case scenario.

Table 6.1: Tsunami Levels and Damage and Protection Levels

(3) Other conditions to consider: To write the scenario,
the input conditions such as the following need to be set:
a. Time, date (day of the week, season etc.)
b. Sea conditions including the tidal level
c. Damage by the preceding earthquake
d. Operation of tsunami gates etc.

Depending on the above conditions the extent of the
disaster, especially human casualties, will differ. A trunk
scenario can be made using the most common/ordinary
conditions considering the experiences of tsunamis in
the district, while auxiliary scenarios can be prepared
using different conditions if necessary. Using a high tide
condition is recommended since a combination of the
tsunami and high tide may make the seawater rise to a
level above the ground surface and cause severe

(4) Evacuation sub-scenario: Meteorological agencies
can predict and issue a tsunami warning with its height
and arrival time immediately after an earthquake. This
information is immediately transmitted via TV and radio
broadcasts to warn people in ports. Local information
transmission systems within the port can send out
emergency messages for evacuation to workers in
Severe damage and
need for measures to
mitigate disaster
Level 3
No significant damage to
on-land facilities with
coastal defenses
Level 2
Possible damage to
fishery activities and
Level 1
Damage and protection
Definition Tsunami
Severe damage and
need for measures to
mitigate disaster
Level 3
No significant damage to
on-land facilities with
coastal defenses
Level 2
Possible damage to
fishery activities and
Level 1
Damage and protection
Definition Tsunami
vessels and on land.

Three types of actions occur in ports: the evacuation of
people on land, the evacuation or reinforced mooring of
vessels and/or evacuation of people from vessels, and
emergency activities to prevent tsunami damage, such as
closing seawall gates.

Many people will be evacuated to designated evacuation
facilities through evacuation routes on getting the
warning, but some may be delayed and be subject to
attack by the tsunami current.

(5) Disaster sub-scenarios: The disaster scenario
a. Propagation of the tsunami to the port
b. Tsunami behavior in the water area
c. Tsunami runup and inundation of the port
d. Damage to breakwaters, seawalls, gates
e. Movement and damage of vessels in port
f. Damage to quay walls, warehouse and other
(including inundation of underground facilities
and fires)
g. Damage to cargo
h. Damage to cars
i. Human casualties
j. Damage to lifelines and transportation systems

The behavior of tsunami and vessels in port can be
evaluated using numerical simulations as explained in
Chapter 4. Damage to the facilities can be estimated
from the tsunami height and forces. It should be noted
that human casualties can occur even if the water depth
is shallow, as a tsunami current can easily knock people

The extent and consequences of failure of coastal
defenses should be carefully considered. In the event of
their damage, the tsunami behavior should be estimated.
It is also important to consider the consequences of
factors such as debris flows, fires and collisions of
vessels and floating cargo. Contamination by spreading
oil and chemicals also need to be considered.

(6) Rescue: Rescue operations start immediately after a
tsunami attack by survivors and then by rescue teams
from non-damaged areas. People washed away by
tsunami currents can be rescued in offshore water areas
and in estuaries or ponds around the shore. People may
be trapped in damaged houses and sunken vessels.
Emergency medical teams are very important for
treating injuries.

By night, the rescue operation becomes very difficult. In
winter, casualties are likely to increase.

(7) Recovery scenario: Recovery will be delayed if the
damage is large, especially in case of a large number of
casualties. Reducing casualties to zero is very important
from the viewpoint of business continuity in the port.
The recovery process includes:
a. Life lines (electricity, gas, water supply and
sewage, telephone, the Internet)
b. Transportation around the port
c. Port function (Removing cargo and damaged
vessels in water and on land and repair of quaywalls
and warehouses, dredging etc.)

6.2.2 The Scenario Considering Tsunami Disaster
Mitigation Planning (P-Scenario)

Once the scenario of the tsunami disaster with current
preparedness (C-scenario) is established, the other
scenario considering tsunami disaster mitigation
(P-Scenario) should be prepared. As mentioned above,
writing the planned scenario requires considering the
targets. One major target is zero casualty and the other
is reduction of economic loss and maintaining
business continuity with estimated economic losses
and recovery dates and levels.

Efforts should be made to adjust the current scenario to
the goal scenario by preparing necessary structural and
nonstructural countermeasures. The nonstructural
countermeasures, related mainly to evacuation, are
explained in Chapter 7 and structural countermeasures
in Chapter 8.


The scenario is indispensable for discussion by the local
government and citizens on how to mitigate tsunami
disasters in their district. It is especially useful to help
local residents understand the scope of the possible
disaster and their own evacuation measures. Hazard
maps, which are common sub-products from the
scenario, are very useful for evacuation planning. Other
effective visual means are also being developed to help
reduce the extent of a possible disaster.

6.3.1 Tsunami Hazard Map

A tsunami hazard map graphically shows damage-prone
areas with expected degrees of damage caused by
possible tsunamis. Tsunami-affected zones in a specific
area are estimated by analysis of historical damages due
to tsunamis striking the area in the past and by
numerical simulations based on tsunami scenarios.

The most fundamental and widespread information of
tsunami damage is where the tsunami is expected to
cause flooding and inundation. Coloring these areas on a
map provides a simple and good indication of the
necessity of evacuation. A map discriminating degrees
of inundation depth as well as inundation areas, as
shown in Fig. 6.5, can further increase understanding of
tsunami damage risk. Based on such a map, measures
can be established to reduce the critical inundation depth
of objects or structures which should be protected
against tsunamis.

Tsunami arrival time is also an important index for
planning evacuation. Identifying areas where residents
cannot complete evacuation within a set time after the
occurrence of an earthquake can serve as the basis for
establishing holistic measures to prevent fatalities in the
event of a tsunami.

Another indicator of tsunami hazard is tsunami fluid
velocity, which is also an index for determining the
ability for evacuation as well as the degree of inundation.
Tsunami destruction can be estimated from tsunami
wave force and fluid velocity.

Tsunami hazards are related to the performance of
protection facilities such as breakwaters, seawalls,
buildings and others, if they exist and their construction
is well planned. Operation of mobile structures like a
water gate also affects the degrees of the hazard. These
conditions can also be used to estimate tsunami hazards
indicated on the hazard maps.

Fig. 6.5: Example of tsunami hazard map, which indicates the
maximum inundation depth

6.3.2 Maps for Tsunami Disaster Management

Indication of tsunami hazards such as predicted
inundation depth is the most basic information for
disaster management to prevent and reduce tsunami
damage risk. Additional presentation of evacuation
routes and places on the inundation map is effective for
planning evacuation of people, both residents and
visitors. Such maps are generally called evacuation

Further information can be offered by Tsunami
Disaster Management Maps to help prevent and reduce
expected tsunami disasters as well as tsunami hazards.
They are extremely valuable for establishing integrated
measures via a combination of various countermeasures
such as preparation of new protection facilities,
reinforcement of existing structures, and the planning of
evacuation places and routes to safer places.

Sharing information with residents on regional
protection capability against tsunami disasters via such
disaster management maps can raise the ability of the
residents to protect themselves against tsunamis.


The primary objective of the tsunami disaster mitigation
is to minimize the casualty. For saving lives evacuation
is vital and therefore the early warning is extremely
important. The early warning system and its
dissemination system should be prepared as soon as
possible. Most of the tsunami prone areas have now
such basic early warning system, especially after the
Indian Ocean Tsunami. Before making the current
scenario the basic early warning system should be

If the expected casualty is not zero in the current
scenario including the warning system an extended
warning system should be considered in the planned
scenario. With such an extended warning system if
safety evacuation cannot still be realized the evacuation
facilities should be constructed. In addition structural
countermeasures such as breakwaters and seawalls can
be considered to reduce the tsunami intrusion and to
enhance the safety of people (The structural
countermeasure is explained in the next chapter.)

This chapter explains the early warning system and
evacuation of people. In ports evacuation of ships is
very important which is also explained in the chapter.


To ensure safe evacuation, early warning is
indispensable. Figure 7.1 shows what happens from the
issuing of tsunami warning to evacuation. In ports,
Tsunami Warning Dissemination Systems should be
established for coastal residents on land and in vessels.

7.1.1 Tsunami Warning Systems

The magnitude and hypocenter can be determined from
earthquake sensors and the subsequent deformation of
the sea bottom which generates tsunami can be
estimated. It is said that the first tsunami alert system
was set up in Hawaii in the 1920s. In 1949, the Pacific
Tsunami Warning Center in Hawaii was established
after the 1946 Aleutian Islands earthquake. In 1967, the
West Coast and Alaska Tsunami Warning Center was
established in Alaska. The J apan Meteorological Agency
established a tsunami warning system in 1952 and now
it is well-developed. Following the Indian Ocean
tsunami, efforts are being made to establish tsunami
warning centers in Indonesia, Australia, New Zealand
and the Caribbean Sea.

After the Chilean Earthquake Tsunami in 1960, an
international tsunami warning system called the Pacific
Tsunami Warning System was established. After the
Indian Ocean Tsunami, several international tsunami
warning systems (Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning
System, North Eastern Atlantic, Mediterranean, and
Connected Seas Tsunami Warning System, and
Caribbean Sea and Adjacent Regions Tsunami Warning
System) were organized by the United Nations
Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC)
through the International Tsunami Information Centre

Fig. 7.1: Tsunami warning and evacuation

7.1.2 Example of a Tsunami Warning System - JMA

The J apan Meteorological Agency (J MA) continuously
monitors seismic activity in and around J apan. When a
large earthquake is detected, J MA immediately
determines the hypocenter and the magnitude of the
earthquake. If it occurs in an ocean area with
tsunamigenic potential, J MA conducts a tsunami
forecast operation using a database containing tsunami
amplitude and travel time constructed by numerical

Tsunami forecasts are categorized into two types:
Tsunami Warning and Tsunami Advisory. Tsunami
Warning is divided into two grades: Major Tsunami and
Tsunami, depending on the estimated amplitude of the
tsunami as shown in Table 7.1. J MA issues Warnings
and/or Advisories for 66 coastal regions which cover all
Tsunami Warning
National Agency
Tsunami Warning
International Agency
Dissemination of Warning
TV/Radio-Local Government
Dissemination of Warning
Port Authority
coastal areas of the country. These tsunami forecasts
include the estimated maximum tsunami amplitude and
estimated tsunami arrival time. J MA provides Warnings
and/or Advisories to national and local authorities for
disaster prevention and broadcasting stations within 3
minutes. Governors of municipalities are responsible for
giving their residents directions to evacuate from
tsunami hazard areas. Warnings and/or Advisories are
cancelled when J MA concludes that the dangerous
situation is over, namely, when the observed amplitude
of the tsunami diminishes to a safe level.

Table 7.1 Types of tsunami forecast bulletin

When a large earthquake occurs distant from J apan,
J MA also determines the hypocenter and magnitude
using seismic data from the global seismological
observation network as well as domestic ones and
exchanges information on the earthquake with PTWC
and USGS. If there is a possibility of tsunami generation,
J MA immediately conducts the tsunami forecast
operation as done for a local tsunami.

7.1.3 Advanced Technology for Tsunami Warning

Efforts are being made to improve the speed and
accuracy of the tsunami warning. For example, J MA has
built the "Earthquake Early Warning" system (EEW
system), which quickly determines the hypocenter and
the magnitude from the seismic waveform data observed
at seismic stations near the hypocenter, and transmits
warnings with estimated seismic intensity and arrival
time of strong ground motion in each region before the
strong ground motion arrives. This technique is also
expected to contribute to reducing the elapsed time for
the issuance of tsunami warning. J MA applies the EEW
technique to tsunami warning to be issued in 2 minutes
at earliest after the occurrence of the earthquake.

Offshore tsunami monitoring is one of the promising
developments of the tsunami warning system. NOAA is
employing tsunami monitoring buoys named DART
(Deep-ocean Assessment and Reporting of Tsunamis).
The Ministry of Land Infrastructure, Transport and
Tourism in J apan is developing GPS tsunami and wave
meters along the J apanese islands. Research is being
conducted for real-time prediction of incident tsunami to
coasts using real-time monitoring data.


7.2.1 Dissemination of Tsunami Warning

Tsunami warning can be issued through mass media, but
ports should have multiple channels for receiving early
warning, including a direct channel from the national
meteorological agency. When an early warning is
received, it should be disseminated from the port
authority to all people in the port, including those in
vessels in and around the port. Announcements can be
sent out using telecommunication systems, loud
speakers and sirens.

7.2.2 Evacuation

Ports are naturally very close to the sea and in very
low-lying areas. People can encounter a tsunami during
evacuation. Therefore, evacuation should start as soon
as possible if an earthquake is felt. The warning should
be given as soon as possible and the evacuation place
should be as close as possible.

For security reasons, a port is usually in a closed area,
and therefore evacuation places should be found within
the port; usually high places or buildings within the port.
If possible the evacuation places should be distributed
within a walking distance of 15 minutes or less. If the
tsunami arrival time is less than 15 minutes, evacuation
places should be readied for escape before the arrival

The evacuation places should be safe against earthquake
and tsunami and have enough space to accommodate the
expected number of people. They should be of a height
higher than three times the tsunami current depth. The
evacuation places should be clearly identifiable and the
routes should be clearly indicated. Figure 7.2 shows a
photo of an evacuation sign which indicates an
evacuation place. The routes to the evacuation places
should be safe and allow easy movement. For example,
a route near an oil storage tank would not be appropriate
because a severe earthquake could cause oil leakage.
There should also be signs within the port to indicate the
height and possible inundation depth.

3 m, 4 m, 6 m, 8 m, over 10 m Major tsunami Tsunami Warning
0.5 m Tsunami Advisory
1 m, 2 m Tsunami
Tsunami height Category
3 m, 4 m, 6 m, 8 m, over 10 m Major tsunami Tsunami Warning
0.5 m Tsunami Advisory
1 m, 2 m Tsunami
Tsunami height Category

Tsunami hazard zone

Tsunami evacuation site Tsunami evacuation building
Fig. 7.2: Tsunami evacuation signs (ISO)

7.2.3 Difficult evacuation areas

The Wakayama Prefecture Government in J apan
organized a special committee headed by Dr. T.
Takayama to prepare new hazard maps including the
description of difficult evacuation areas, which are
defined as areas where people cannot evacuate before
the arrival of a tsunami:

Tev + Tpr > Tsa (7.1)

where Tev is the time needed to walk to the nearest
evacuation place at a speed of 0.5 m/s and Tpr is the
time needed to prepare for the evacuation (5 minutes).
Tsa is the arrival time of a tsunami front obtained by a
numerical tsunami inundation simulation for an assumed
tsunami. The starting time for evacuation is usually
taken as the time of earthquake generation. As Fritz et al
(2006) have noted, people drowned in the Maldives
during the overland flow, while they could had
evacuated to safety in nearby schools that survived

7.2.4 Evacuation Facilities

We need to minimize the difficult evacuation areas and
the walking time for evacuation should be reduces as
much as possible. Evacuation facilities should be
increased in adequate places. In some situations, shelter
can be provided by using high grounds. In Fig. 7.3 a
new stairway was constructed to reach a high ground
nearby for emergency evacuation.

Where high ground or high buildings are not available
in the port area, evacuation towers can be provided to
shelter the port population in an emergency. Evacuation
towers are robust structures built in the port area and
designed with anti-tsunami criteria to serve as refuge for
evacuees from the port area. A typical example of such a
structure is shown in Fig. 7.4.

Fig. 7.3: Artificial high ground

Fig. 7.4 Evacuation tower

Fig. 7.5 Tsunami mitigation works in Aonae district,
Okushiri Island, Japan

A total disaster prevention system has been established
for Okushiri Island. Figure 7.5 shows the seawalls in
front of the reclaimed land and an artificial high ground
in the fishery port where fishermen can work daily,
using the second floor for evacuation when necessary.

The design of the facilities here should be done in the
same manner as those for the seawalls and dikes
considering the behavior of incident tsunami including
the tsunami height and current. The capacity of the
facilities should be estimated accurately especially, in
ports where people work or visit. The maintenance and
operational conditions should also be considered in the
design stage. The safety margin should be properly
evaluated based on probabilistic evaluation of the nature
of the hazard.

It should be noted that the roads to the facilities should
be safe enough against earthquake. Buildings may
collapse and prevent the traffic. It should be noted that
these artificial shelters should be located in safer places,
avoiding the direct attack of tsunami. The places near
rivers and water channels should be avoided.

7.2.5 Evacuation Drill

All the people working in ports should understand
the possibility of a tsunami attack and the resulting
inundation. The scenario, especially the evacuation
sub-scenario, is important for people with hazard
maps. People in the area should discuss how to
improve evacuation places and routes through
actual evacuation drills.


7.3.1 Introduction

A ship is usually said to be safer on the sea outside a
port than inside a port. This is because the height and
current of a tsunami is much smaller outside a port than
inside it. Ships on the sea outside a port have been
reported to be undamaged even by tsunami measuring 5
m in height inside a port. Therefore, ships inside a port
should evacuate a port if a tsunami attack is forecast
after an earthquake has occurred.

However, the timing of the evacuation is important. For
example, a fishing boat trying to evacuate a port might
find it difficult to move against a tsunami current
entering the port. If there is little time before a tsunami
attack, reinforcing the mooring system would be
recommended. If the time is even further limited, taking
refuge in a safe location would be of the utmost priority.
In past tsunamis, many people who went to the port to
check their boats became victims of a tsunami attack.

7.3.2 Examples of Ship Evacuation

Several successful cases of ship evacuation have
been recorded.
1) About 200 fishing boats inside a fishing port started
evacuation after receiving a telephone call about an
impending tsunami attack and escaped damage.
2) Damage to fishing boats was minimized because they
were out at sea or evacuated from a port just after an
earthquake occurred.
3) About 100 out of 200 large and small ships moored
inside a port during an earthquake successfully
evacuated from the port, escaping a tsunami of more
than 4 m in height. In this earthquake, the seismic center
was near the port and the tsunami came quickly.
Damage was concentrated among small ships with poor
communication equipment. Large ships moored in the
port were undamaged thanks to countermeasures taken,
such as the use of additional mooring ropes.

7.3.3 Countermeasures against Tsunami that Can Be
Taken by Ships

Table 7.2 shows possible countermeasures to be taken
by ships against tsunamis. Proposed by the J apan
Association of Marine Safety, the actions are related to
the tsunami height, available time, ship size, and the
state of the ship. According to this table, the principal
actions that can be taken are to evacuate to a deep and
wide offshore area and to moor a ship with many long
mooring ropes.

The best way to keep a ship undamaged by a tsunami is
to have it evacuate outside the port. However, this
method can be applied only if there is enough time
before the arrival of a tsunami. It cannot be adopted
when an earthquake occurs in the vicinity of a port, as
was the case with the Tokai earthquake and the
Tonankai-Nankai earthquake. In such cases, alternate
measures of reinforcing the moorings are important and
effective. They can be strengthened by the extension
and addition of mooring ropes.

The J apan Association of Marine Safety suggests the
preparation of a port version of hazard maps, which
indicate the predicted situation of a tsunami attack in a
harbor basin. Figure 7.6 shows a conceptual figure of
the port version of a hazard map for the Port of Shimizu.
The degree of risk according to the location of a ship
can be grasped from the hazard map, and the measures
designated in the ship action table against tsunami can
be taken based on a tsunami forecast. A ship action table
against tsunami like Table 7.2 and a hazard map like Fig.
7.6 should be prepared for each port with regard to its
specific conditions.
Table 7.2: Ship action policy against tsunami (The Japan Association of Marine Safety, 2004)
Tsunami forecast
Ship Action
Moored ship in port
Anchored ship,
buoy-moored Ship
Navigating ship
Large ship, mediumship
(incl. fishing boat)
Small ship Large ship,
(incl. fishing
Small ship
(Pleasure boat,
Small Fishing Boat,
Hazardous materials
Ordinary ship
(incl. cargo handling /
working ship)
(Pleasure boat, small fishing
boat, etc.)
(3 m, 4
m, 6 m, 8
m, over
10 m)
Halt (un-)loading
In principle: Offshore
Halt cargo handling
Land evacuation
Land evacuation Use engine
Offshore evacuation /
Land evacuation after
Halt (un-)loading
In principle: Offshore
Halt cargo handling
Offshore evacuation /
Land evacuation
Landing and lashing /
Land evacuation (in some
cases, offshore evacuation)
Use engine /
Offshore Evacuation
Offshore evacuation /
Landing and lashing
after berthing (in some
cases, land evacuation)
Halt (un-)loading
Offshore evacuation
Halt cargo handling
Offshore evacuation
Landing and lashing (in some
cases, offshore evacuation)
Offshore evacuation
Offshore evacuation /
Landing and lashing
after berthing
(1 m, 2
Halt (un-)loading
In Principle: Offshore
Halt cargo handling
Land Evacuation /
Strengthen mooring
Land evacuation Use engine
Offshore evacuation /
Land evacuation after
Halt (un-)loading
In principle: Offshore
Halt cargo handling
Offshore evacuation /
Land evacuation /
Strengthen mooring
Landing and lashing / Land
(in some cases,
offshore evacuation)
Use engine /
Offshore evacuation
Offshore evacuation /
Landing and lashing
after nerthing (in some
cases, land evacuation
Halt (un-)loading
Offshore Evacuation
Halt cargo handling
Offshore Evacuation /
Strengthening mooring
Landing and lashing (in some
offshore evacuation)
Offshore evacuation
Offshore evacuation /
Landing and lashing
after berthing
(0.5 m)

Halt (un-)loading
Strengthen Mooring /
Offshore Evacuation
Halt cargo handling
Strengthen mooring /
Offshore evacuation
Landing and lashing /
Offshore evacuation
Attention to
(in some cases,
offshore evacuation /
use of engine)
Landing and lashing /
Offshore evacuation /
Strengthen mooring
Action manuals
should be prepared
beforehand by

Offshore evacuation is
suggested if there is a sea area
where even small ships are
safe against a tsunami outside
the port and if there is
adequate time for evacuation.
Sea areas where rapid
tsunami currents are
anticipated should be

Time until tsunami arrival:
Long: Adequate time is available for evacuation after a tsunami warning (until a ship is under safe conditions such as offshore evacuation, landing and lashing, etc.).
Short: Little time is available for evacuation after a tsunami warning (until a ship is under safe conditions such as offshore evacuation, landing and lashing, etc.).
Medium: Between Long and Short
Small ship: The ships, which can be landed in a port, such as pleasure boats and fishing boats (excluding landing in a shipbuilding yard).
Land evacuation: Crew members take refuge in a high land area because evacuation by ship is anticipated to involve a high degree of risk. They also prevent the outflow of ships and exercise safety
precautions regarding dangerous goods.
Offshore evacuation: Ships evacuate to deep and wide offshore area outside a port. (If there is no time for offshore evacuation, ships should wait in an emergency evacuation area inside the port.)
Attention to conditions: Although crew members do not take evacuation measures, they pay attention to changing conditions and take measures for ship safety until the cancellation of tsunami advisory.
Landing and lashing: Crew members land small ships such as pleasure boats and fishing boats, and lash themto prevent themfrombeing washed away by a tsunami.
Use of engine: Crew members start the engine of an anchored ship to drive it against the tsunami if necessary.
Note: The above table shows the standard ship actions. Countermeasures should be examined on the basis of the features of each port area.

Fig. 7.6: Image of a port version of a hazard map for the Port
of Shimizu (The Japan Association of Marine Safety, 2004)

7.3.4 Mooring of Ships

If there is little time before a tsunami attack, the ships
should stay safely in the ports. One of the
countermeasures is reinforcing the mooring system and
the evaluation of tsunami forces and mooring forces
should be properly estimated:
1) Numerical simulations should be conducted to
evaluate the behavior of tsunami in ports. Then
static mooring analysis models are available to
evaluate the increase in mooring line loads
associated with large increases and decreases in
water level as discussed in chapter 4. Also the
increases and decrease in water level causes
imbalance of the ship body resulting overturning
and sinking of the ship.
2) The tsunami forces due to tsunami currents can be
estimated considering the drag and inertia forces
and the mooring forces can be roughly estimated by
considering quasi-static conditions.
3) The mooring forces can be evaluated by ordinary
ship-motion simulation programs. The calculated
mooring forces are usually small when the tsunami
current is parallel to the ship. However, if the
tsunami induces the harbor oscillations (so-called
long-period oscillations with the period of 1 to
several minutes) the mooring forces become large
since the inertia force becomes large due to high
current acceleration. The mooring becomes difficult
especially when the period is close to a resonant
period of ship motion. The tsunami- induced harbor
oscillation should be properly calculated.(Ohgaki et
al., 2008). Also non linear effects of tsunami profile
and mooring forces should be considered. when the
tsunami is very high.

If the mooring force exceeds the allowable strength
countermeasures should be taken as follows:
4) The mooring system can be reinforced by using
high-strength mooring ropes and/or increasing the
number of the mooring ropes.
5) The other countermeasure is to loosen the mooring
lines especially against intensive increase and
decrease of water elevation.
6) The tsunami height and current vary depending on
the location of quay wall. Quay walls with low
tsunami height and current should be selected and
those near complicated currents should be avoided.
Especially the places where the harbor resonant
oscillations are significant should be avoided.
7) Mooring at pile-type dolphin piers should be
carefully examined against tsunami and avoid the
places where the tsunami current is oblique and

7.3.5 References

Dykstra, D.H., and W. J in (2006): Detailed modeling of
locally generated tsunami propagation into the ports
of Los Angeles and Long Beach, Proc. 30th Int.
Conf. Coastal Eng., ASCE.
Fritz, H.M., C.E. Synolakis, B.G. McAdoo (2006).
Maldives field survey of the 2004 Indian Ocean
Tsunami. Earthquake Spectra 22(S3):S137-S154.
Headland J ., Smith E., Dykstra D., and Tibakovs, T.
(2006): Effects of tsunamis on moored
/maneuvering ships, Proc. of the 30th International
Conference, ASCE, pp.1603-1624.
Naval Facilities Engineering Command (1986): U.S.
Navys design manual DM 26.4- Fixed Moorings
Takahashi, S. (2005): Tsunami disasters and their
prevention in J apanToward the performance
design of coastal defense, Proceedings of
International Symposium Disaster Reduction on
Coasts, Monash University, Australia.
Takahashi, S., Y. Sakai, Y. Moriya, I. Uchiyama, K.
Endo, T. Arikawa (2008): Drawing risk by tsunami
currents, Solutions to Coastal Disasters 2008
Tsunamis, ASCE, pp.60-71.
Ohgaki, K., H. Yoneyama and T. Suzuki (2008):
Port Version of Hazard Map
Special Disaster Prevention Zone
(Petrochemical Complex, etc.)
Emergency Evacuation Area
Regional Risk
Safe Sea Area
Water Level: over
Wat er Level: 2m to 4m
Evaluation on Safety of Moored Ships and Mooring
Systems for a Tsunami Attack, Proc. of Oceans
'08/Techno-Ocean '08, MTS/IEEE, 6p.
Ohgaki, K., M. Tsuda, A. Kurihara, H. Yoneyama and T.
Hiraishi (2009): Fundamental Model Experiments
on Response Characteristics of a Moored Ship and
Mooring Facilities by Tsunami Flow, Proc. of
ISOPE-2009, pp.1124-1131.
The J apan Association of Marine Safety (2004):
Investigative Research Report on Ship Security when
tsunami is anticipated in the fiscal year 2003, in
J apanese.

Structural countermeasures should be prepared in
accordance with the planned scenario. The planned
scenario of a disaster (P-Scenario) is actually disaster
mitigation planning in which actual and concrete target
levels of Human Safety, Economic Loss and
Business Continuity are determined. Measures to reach
the target should be discussed and prepared including
structural and non-structural countermeasures. In
this chapter structural countermeasures are mainly

Table 8.1: Procedure of designing structural countermeasures

Table 8.1 shows the procedures to design the structural
countermeasures based on the planned-scenario. The
planned scenario for the port includes sub-scenarios of
the earthquake scenario and tsunami scenario which
determine the incident tsunami outside and inside the
port. The other sub-scenarios of the evacuation scenario,
disaster scenario, rescue scenario and recovery scenario
determines necessary structural countermeasures and
their required levels of functional performance and
stability performance including their resilience. Then the
design of the structures can be done with the design
method, which are usually based on existing design
methods against waves and currents. Tsunami behaves
as a very long wave and a varying current. Some of
the design methods are introduced in Chapter 5.

There are two major kinds of structural
countermeasures: one consists of measures to enhance
the stability of port structures against the tsunami and
the other is related to the construction of tsunami
defenses to reduce tsunami intrusion. Table 8.2 shows
the two structural countermeasures in addition to
evacuation facilities. Evacuation has been explained in
the previous chapter and some facilities for evacuation
are introduced in the chapter.

Table 8.2: Structural countermeasures


8,1.1 Breakwaters

Breakwaters, which are constructed to reduce storm
waves, can be damaged by tsunamiCuypers 2003).
However, the damage is usually not significant as a
tsunami is not destructive offshore and hydraulic forces
due to storm waves are much stronger. Therefore, with a
minimal reinforcement, breakwaters can be made
resistant to damage from a tsunami. Current velocities
induced by possible tsunami should be investigated, and
the stability of armor stones and the seabed should be
checked. Even conventional breakwaters can be
effective for reducing the intrusion of tsunami into a

8.1.2 Seawalls

Seawalls, which are usually constructed to reduce wave
overtopping, can reduce tsunami intrusion onto the land.
Tsunami in near shore areas can be very violent and
severely attack these walls. Therefore, the seawalls
should be reinforced to withstand tsunami attacks. The
design of tsunami seawalls is described in 8.2 (x).

8.1.3 Piers and Quays

Gravity-type piers and quays are relatively safe against
tsunami although some failures have been observed due
1. Reinforcement of port facilities
Pier and quays, seawalls and breakwaters
On-land facilities including dangerous facilities
(Warehouses, oil storage tanks, etc.)
Lifelines and transportation systems
2. Construction of tsunami defenses
Tsunami breakwaters, tsunami seawalls and tsunami
3. Evacuation facilities
Artificial high ground, evacuation buildings and towers
Evacuation roads

Incident Required
Tsunami Performance

Design of
Planned Scenario
Evacuation Scenari
Earthquake Scenario Disaster Scenario
Tsunami Scenario Rescue Scenario
Recovery Scenario
to scouring. Floating type and pile-type piers and quay
are weak against tsunami, especially tsunami currents.
Their stability needs to be checked against rushing and
retreating tsunamis and tsunami currents.

8.1.4 Warehouses

Warehouses located in low-lying areas are usually
relatively weak and tend to be easily damaged by
tsunami. They should have enough strength against
tsunami to prevent wall failure.

8.1.5 Containers and Timbers

Buoyant cargo such as containers and timbers can drift
and move about in a tsunami attack, causing collision
damage. Structures should be installed to prevent this,
such as perforated fences or even trees. Another problem
is posed by parked cars in a ferry terminal, which are
usually lifted and moved. Parking areas should be
planned to avoid such damage.

8.1.6 Oil Storage Tanks and Other Dangerous

Dangerous facilities such as oil storage tanks should be
reinforced to avoid fatal failure that could cause the
spilling of oils and chemicals. Such dangerous facilities
should be located to higher and safer areas in a port.

8.1.7 Port Control Building

The main building of a port including a control tower
should be reinforced against tsunami attack. It should
have the height and strength and space to serve as an
evacuation building. Emergency power supply and other
equipment should be prepared in the building.

8.1.8 Lifelines

Lifelines within and near the port should be improved to
prevent fatal damage. They should be able to recover as
soon as possible by planning redundancy in their
back-up systems.


8.2.1 Introduction

It is evident that damaging tsunamis are hard to prevent
by structures. However, in tsunami prone areas hard
defense structures were constructed to provide a
countermeasure against tsunamis attacking ports.
Tsunami breakwaters and seawalls are major structural
countermeasures to reduce intrusion of tsunami
(Takahashi 2005).

Tsunami breakwaters and seawalls are huge structures
and therefore their construction is very expensive. Also
such structures are not friendly to landscape and daily
life of people. The benefit to reduce the casualties and
economic loss and to ensure the business continuity
should be evaluated appropriately considering the
demerit and probabilistic nature of the risk. It should be
noted that tsunami breakwaters and seawalls are
effective for ordinary storm waves.

In this section, Tsunami breakwaters and Tsunami
seawalls and dikes in addition to tsunami gates are

8.2.2 Tsunami Breakwaters

A Tsunami breakwater is an offshore breakwater to
reduce tsunami intrusion into the harbor behind the
offshore breakwater (Kamel 1970). It is usually placed
at a mouth of long and large bay. The first tsunami
breakwater was built across a bay mouth to prevent
tsunami intrusion into Funakawai in 1964, Japan. Since
then several tsunami breakwaters were constructed or
being constructed in the country. Figure 8.1 shows a
tsunami breakwater at Kamaishi placed at 63m-deep
water (Tanimoto et. al. 1983).

In deep water area, the tsunami is relatively gentle very
long waves and the force due to tsunami is not
significant. The effect of tsunami breakwater is limited
since the breakwater mouth is not closed and the
tsunami period is very long.

The tsunami breakwater at Kamaishi Port can reduce the
tsunami height to less than 70% (from 5.4 to 3.1 m)
against a scenario Tsunami (Showa-Sanriku Tsunami).
Although the reduction of the tsunami height is not so
large this is very helpful to reduce the casualties and
damages in Kamaishi City, reducing inundation area to
less than 20% (from 141 ha to 25 ha) and inundation
depth in downtown area to 0.5m. In addition the arrival
time of tsunami peak is delayed due to the breakwater,
which gives more time for evacuation. This effect is
deeply dependent on the water area behind the
breakwater and the opening area (mouth) of the
breakwater which can be determined by numerical
simulations with some model experiments. The
Kamaishi breakwater is installed at the baymouth and
has a huge water, and therefore the tsunami reduction
effect is relatively large.

Fig. 8.1: Tsunami breakwater, Kamaishi, Iwate, Japan

Since the water depth is large the action of tsunami is
gentle and reflective by the breakwater. The stability of
the breakwater can be evaluated by the standing wave
condition of tsunami although the design condition is
determined by storm waves usually. It should be noted
that most critical part in the design of tsunami
breakwaters is scouring protection at the breakwater
mouth against rapid tsunami currents.

Ordinary breakwaters in ports have limited water areas
and the tsunami reduction effect is not significant
(Seelig 1980; Liu; Lynnet 2007; Kapsalis
2007). However, from disaster surveys after tsunami
attacks it was found the areas within and behind the
ports are less damaged compared with the areas not
surrounded by breakwaters. Even ordinary breakwaters
can reduce the tsunami intrusion to some extent.
Especially the current strength in tsunami front part
is weakened with impact force by the tsunami front
being disturbed and reduced, which contributes
significant reduction of damage to people and buildings.
These effects can be evaluated by model experiments
and sophisticated numerical simulations.

8.2.3 Tsunami Seawalls and Dikes

It is known that the conventional seawall around Male
Island as in Fig. 8.2 saved the island during the
devastating Sumatra event of 26/12/2004. This tsunami
produced waves with heights up to 3 m hitting Maldives

Tsunami seawalls and dikes are constructed along shore
to prevent or reduce the intrusion of tsunami on land.
Figure 8.3 shows a tsunami seawall of 11 and 6 meters
at Okushiri Island and Fig. 8.4 shows a tsunami dike of
10 m high at Taro town.

Actually the design method is almost the same as the
conventional seawalls and dikes against storm waves.
The most important design parameter is the necessary
height which can be determined considering the tsunami
height and allowable tsunami overtopping at the site. It
should be noted the tsunami becomes very violent due
to shoaling and breaking effects and the forces acting on
the seawalls and dikes in near shore areas become large
and sometimes impulsive. It should be noted that the
tsunami height and current velocity at each phase of the
tsunami attack (not only its peak) including the backrush
phase are considered. Special attention should be paid to
a. Stability against impact forces due to breaking
tsunami front
b. Stability against static water forces at tsunami peak
c. Stability against static water forces during backrush
d. Downstream and crest armoring against overtopping
e. Scouring of soil bed in toe and backfill(back toe)
f. Collision forces due to drifting vessels

Fig. 8.2: Seawall around Male Island, Maldives

Fig. 8.3: Tsunami seawalls

Fig. 8.4: Tsunami dike

8.2.4 Tsunami Gates
The behavior of incident tsunami can be estimated by
model experiments and sophisticated numerical
simulations. The design of the tsunami seawalls and
dikes should be made through the existing method to
evaluate the forces considering the behavior of the
incident tsunami.

Figure 8.5 shows a river gate against tsunami at
Okushiri Island. Figure 8.6 shows an on-land tsunami
gate for a seawall in the island and Figure 8.7 shows
another on-land gate for a tsunami dike in Taro Town.
Figure 8.8 shows one of new tsunami gate for a
breakwater mouth which is being investigated in

The design of tsunami gates is almost the same as the
conventional gates. It should consider the behavior the
incident tsunami to the gates as for the tsunami
breakwaters and seawalls. The most important matter
for the gates is to ensure proper operation when a
tsunami attacks. The maintenance and operation system
should be well considered. In several tsunami prone
areas the automated operation system at a central control
station is prepared.

Fig. 8.5: Tsunami river gate

Fig. 8.6: Tsunami on-land gate for a seawall

Fig. 8.7: Tsunami on-land gate for a dike

Fig. 8.8: New tsunami gate at a breakwater mouth

8.2.5 Green Belts
Natural forests along coasts can reduce tsunami
intrusion behind them. Artificial coastal forests here
called green belts have been planned as a natural coastal
defense (Danielsen F. 2005). Obviously a large
width and large density of the green belt is needed to
reduce the tsunami height and speed. However the green
belts are economically feasible and eco-friendly and
therefore the number of the green belts is being
increasing. The reduction of tsunami height and speed
can be evaluated considering suitable drag coefficients
(Hiraishi and Harada 2003, and Asano T. 2008) and the
stability of the trees can be checked by the drag forces
due to tsunami currents. It should be noted that the
coastal forests can be a barrier to prevent drifting of
containers and ships from ports.


Asano T. (2008): Time varying tsunami attenuation
ability of coastal forests based on forest growth model,
Coastal Engineering Journal, Vol.50, No.3,
Applied Fluids Engineering, Inc (2005), Tsunami
Hazards Facing Pier 400, Final Report.
Cuypers K. (2003), Breakwater stability under tsunami
attack, TU DELFT.
Danielsen F. (2005): The Asian Tsunami:A
Protective Role for Coastal Vegetation, Science,
Science Online, Vol.310.
Hiraishi, T., and Harada, K. (2003): Greenbelt tsunami
prevention in South-Pacific region, Rept. Port and
Airport Research Institute. Vol.42, NO.2, pp.1-23.
Kamel A. M. (1970), Laboratory Study for Design of
Tsunami Barrier, Journal of the Waterways, Harbors
and Coastal Engineering Division, Vol. 96, No 4,
Kapsalis A., (2007), The hydrodynamic field inside
porous submerged breakwaters, NTUA.
Lynnet P. J., (2007), Effect of a Shallow Water
Obstruction on Long Wave Runup and Overland Flow
Velocity, Journal of Waterway, Port, Coastal and
Ocean Engineering, ASCE, pp 455-462.
Philip L.-F. Liu, P., Lin, Chang K.-A. and Sakakiyama
T., (1999), Numerical modeling of wave
interaction with porous structures, Journal of
Waterway, Port, Coastal, and Ocean Engineering.
Seelig, W. N., (1980), Two-dimensional tests of wave
transmission and reflection characteristics of
laboratory breakwaters. Tech. Rep. No. TR 80-1,
Coastal Engrg. Res. Center, U.S. Army Corps of
Engineers, Fort Belvoir.
Takahashi S.(2005), Tsunami disasters and their
prevention in Japan toward the performance design
of coastal defenses, International Symposium
Disaster Reduction on Coasts, Scientific Sustainable
Holistic Accessible, Monash University, Melbourne,
Tanimoto, K. (1983), "On the Hydraulic Aspects of
Tsunami Breakwaters in Japan," In Tsunamis - Their
Science and Engineering, eds. K. Iida and T. Iwasaki,
Terra Scientific Publishing Co., Tokyo, Japan, pp
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, website

Ports are very vulnerable to tsunamis and those
responsible for the safety of people and business
continuity in port areas should prepare for the possibility
of a tsunami attack. Everyone involved in securing the
safety of ports must understand the characteristics of
tsunami damage that can occur by learning from past
experiences in ports around the world.

A port management body should have a team for
disaster management not only to minimize casualties
and reduce economic damage but also to assure business
continuity in the port. The team should prepare a
scenario predicting a tsunami disaster that could be
anticipated for the port at its current preparedness level.
Another scenario should also be prepared to predict
what could occur if well-planned countermeasures are
implemented. The scenarios should be
total/comprehensive ones covering sub-scenarios from
the tsunami generation to recovery, and the
countermeasures should be planned and implemented
considering robustness, redundancy and resilience.

After the Indian Ocean Tsunami Disaster and other
coastal disasters in recent years around the world, we
have learned many important key words related to
disaster mitigation: disaster preparedness, worst case,
hazard, risk, vulnerability, scenarios, robustness,
redundancy, holistic, business continuity, and resilience.
Special attention should be paid to these words to help
mitigate tsunami disasters.