Inderscience Publishers

An experimental investigation of post-earthquake travel behaviours: The effects of severity and initial location

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Courtesy of Inderscience Publishers

A computer-aided personal interviewing survey containing 63 items examining post-earthquake travel behaviours was administered to 802 members of the general public. Earthquake simulation videos modelled a moderate and severe event (6.8 and 7.5, respectively, on the Richter scale) in an office and home setting. Travel movements were recorded over a simulated 48-h period following the earthquake. Geographic Information System (GIS) software was used to obtain trip origins and destinations the routes taken and trip distances. Information seeking was also examined. The results indicate that an event which induces significant travel produces trips that are for a variety of purposes, not just to return home. While individually rational, this behaviour is a form of collective social disorder. Mode choice varied with event severity and distance (walking was preferred up to 3.25 km, then vehicles were preferred). Well-prepared emergency plans reduce the need to travel. The motivation to travel was affected by available information and is discussed as a form of information seeking.

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