Panitan Lukkunaprasit, Nuttawut Thanasisathit, and Harry Yeh
The 2004 catastrophe of the Indian Ocean tsunami prompted scientists and engineers to develop better guidelines for economically designed essential buildings that are capable of withstanding tsunami forces. A recent design guidelines document - FEMA P646  published by the US Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) - proposes a practical method to estimate the tsunami design forces at a given locality with a known maximum tsunami runup height. This paper focuses on verifying the method stipulated in FEMA P646 through laboratory experiments, assuming the beach condition similar to Kamala beach in Phuket, Thailand, which suffered great losses by the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. Our experimental results confirm that the predicted forces provide a reasonable upper bound for the measured forces.
Keywords: tsunami, building, experiment, surge force, guidelines, drag force