Resilience of Human Mobility Under the Influence of Typhoons

Qi Wang, John E. Taylor
2015 Procedia Engineering  
Climate change has intensified tropical cyclones, resulting in several recent catastrophic hurricanes and typhoons. Such disasters impose threats on populous coastal urban areas, and therefore, understanding and predicting human movements plays a critical role in evaluating vulnerability and resilience of human society and developing plans for disaster evacuation, response and relief. Despite its critical role, limited research has focused on tropical cyclones and their influence on human
more » ... ence on human mobility. Here, we studied how severe tropical storms could influence human mobility patterns in coastal urban populations using individuals' movement data collected from Twitter. We selected 5 significant tropical storms and examined their influences on 8 urban areas. We analyzed the human movement data before, during, and after each event, comparing the perturbed movement data to movement data from steady states. We also used different statistical analysis approaches to quantify the strength and duration of human mobility perturbation. The results suggest that tropical cyclones can significantly perturb human movements , and human mobility experienced different magnitudes in different cases. We also found that power-law still governed human movements in spite of the perturbations. The findings from this study will deepen our understanding about the interaction between urban dwellers and civil infrastructure, improve our ability to predict human movements during natural disasters, and help policymakers to improve disaster evacuation, response and relief plans.
doi:10.1016/j.proeng.2015.08.535 fatcat:alzclbhb35hilmwbkqo6ghoea4