Abstract

The implementation of a new Tsunami Intensity Scale is proposed because a vast amount of data has been collected from the two megatsunamis that took place in the Indian Ocean in 2004 and northeast Japan in 2011. The newly proposed scale is 12‐grade and is based on the assessment of a large number of objective criteria that are easily accessible and incorporated into six groups. As a result, it does not saturate as six‐grade scales do. More specifically, the estimation of intensity values takes into account: (1) the quantities of the phenomena, (2) the direct impact on humans, (3) the impact on mobile objects, (4) the impact on coastal infrastructure, (5) the impact on the environment, and (6) the impact on structures. The new scale is compatible with the widely used EMS1998 and ESI2007 scales and has a reliable horizontal correspondence throughout the groups of criteria. It is easily and directly applicable to all environments, and particularly useful for the outlining of microzones of different intensities in any tsunami‐affected area. It can be implemented for any land use/cover type, such as urban, rural, industrial, touristic, and so on, and at the same time, morphologic diversity of affected areas is not an obstacle to application.

Online Material: Photos and satellite images of tsunami damage and associated intensity values.

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