Investigating the flood evacuation behaviour of older people: A case study of a rural town in Japan

Hitomi Nakanishi, John Black, Yoshihiro Suenaga

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


Japan is an ageing society where rural areas suffer from the out-migration of young people resulting in many older people not having family support nearby. Evacuation to safe places in a timely manner is a global challenge to community leaders and authorities when faced with natural hazards. However, there is little research focusing on older people's travel evacuation patterns. In this research, the evacuation behaviour in a rural town of Japan (Manno town, Kagawa prefecture) is simulated taking into account the older cohort of the population. The town (population 18,377 in 2015) is located in a hilly and rugged inland district. At a time of heavy rain in July 2018, an evacuation order was issued to all residents of Manno and subsequently landslides occurred in several areas. Evacuation procedures and the protocols of evacuation orders are described. Based on discussions with local government officials, an agent-based model was developed to simulate evacuation behaviours using the July 2018 rainfall situation. Evacuation times are estimated for 6 different scenarios. The challenges in managing the mobility needs of older people in a disaster situation are discussed along with recommendations to local government. Suggestions for future research into agent-based simulation are outlined.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100376
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalResearch in Transportation Business and Management
Publication statusPublished - 5 Sept 2019


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