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ALGERIA’S VULNERABILITY TO TSUNAMIS FROM NEAR-FIELD SEISMIC SOURCES

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Author(s): ALGERIA’S VULNERABILITY TO TSUNAMIS FROM NEAR-FIELD SEISMIC SOURCES | A. Cisternas | J. -L. Vigneresse | W. Dudley | B. Mc Adoo

Journal: Science of Tsunami Hazards
ISSN 8755-6839

Volume: 31;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 82;
Date: 2012;
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ABSTRACT
Evaluation of the effects of tsunami damage relative to earthquake damage may help to identify critical coastal zone structures and exposed populations for near field tsunami risk. In this work, we propose to define the ratio between tsunami intensity and earthquake intensity as a measure of near field tsunami vulnerability for coastal communities. This parameter is estimated for 13 tsunami events reported in North Algeria from the 14th century to present. Although the results show that there are no tsunamis that are unusually large for the size of the earthquake that generated them, coastal communities remain at risk from these periodic hazards.We also use tsunami modelling and published information to estimate maximum inundation in Northern Algeria. Then, we generate a flooding map, which reveals the communities, buildings and infrastructure that are exposed to the tsunami hazard. This map shows that the majority of the people in Algiers and Oran live above 5 meters in elevation, and are hence not exposed to the hazard. Despite this, the coastline remains vulnerable to tsunami as earthquakes can damage poorly constructed buildings and other infrastructure, weakening it prior to the arrival of the tsunami. To increase resilience in the coastal zone, tsunami and earthquake awareness, education and preparedness must become a priority in the context of regional early warning programs.
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