Mount Merapi eruption: Simulating dynamic evacuation and volunteer coordination using agent-based modeling approach
Journal of Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Management
Article publication date: 1 October 2019
Issue publication date: 18 October 2019
Uneven distribution and mistarget beneficiaries are among problems encountered during post-disaster relief operations in 2010 Mount Merapi eruption. The purpose of this paper is to develop an empirically founded agent-based simulation model addressing the evacuation dynamics and to explore coordination mechanism and other promising strategies during last-mile relief delivery.
An agent-based model which was specified and parameterized by empirical research (interviews and survey) was developed to understand the mechanism of individual decision making underlying the evacuation dynamics. A set of model testing was conducted to evaluate confidence level of the model in representing the evacuation dynamics during post-disaster of 2010 Mount Merapi eruption. Three scenarios of last-mile relief delivery at both strategic and operational levels were examined to evaluate quantitatively the effectiveness of the coordination mechanism and to explore other promising strategies.
Results indicate that the empirically founded agent-based modeling was able to reproduce the general pattern of observable Internal Displaced Persons based on government records, both at micro and macro levels, with a statistically non-significant difference. Low hazard perception and leader-following behavior which refuses to evacuate are the two factors responsible for late evacuation. Unsurprisingly, coordination through information sharing results in better performance than without coordination. To deal with both uneven distribution and long-term demand fulfillment, coordination among volunteers during aid distribution (at downstream operation) is not sufficient. The downstream coordination should also be accompanied with coordination between aid centers at the upstream operation. Furthermore, the coordination which is combined with other operational strategies, such as clustering strategy, using small-sized trucks and pre-positioning strategy, seems to be promising. It appears that the combined strategy of coordination and clustering strategy performs best among other combined strategies.
The significant role of early evacuation and self-evacuation behavior toward efficient evacuation indicates that human factor (i.e. hazard perception and cultural factor) should be considered in designing evacuation plan. Early warning system through both technology and community empowerment is necessary to support early evacuation. The early warning system should also be accompanied with at least 69 percent of the population performing self-evacuation behavior for the effective evacuation. As information sharing through coordination is necessary to avoid redundant efforts, uneven distribution and eventually to reduce unmet demand, the government can act as a coordinating actor to authorize the operation and mobilize the resources. The combination of coordination and another strategy reducing lead time such as clustering analysis, thus increasing responsiveness, is seemly strategy for efficient and effective last-mile relief distribution.
Literature on coordination is dominated by qualitative approach, which is difficult to evaluate its effectiveness quantitatively. Providing realistic setting of the evacuation dynamics in the course of the 2010 Mount Merapi eruption, the empirically founded agent-based model can be used to understand the factors influencing the evacuation dynamics and subsequently to quantitatively examine coordination mechanisms and other potential strategies toward efficient and effective last-mile relief distribution.
Sopha, B.M., Achsan, R.E.D. and Asih, A.M.S. (2019), "Mount Merapi eruption: Simulating dynamic evacuation and volunteer coordination using agent-based modeling approach", Journal of Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Management, Vol. 9 No. 2, pp. 292-322. https://doi.org/10.1108/JHLSCM-05-2018-0035
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