AbstractIn April 2015, an increase in the seismic activity of the Cotopaxi volcano, one of the world’s most active volcanoes, alarmed local authorities. A potential eruption of the Cotopaxi volcano could affect over 85,000 people. Despite the extensive development of studies on international humanitarian aid, the first steps in this area of Ecuador started recently, following the disasters of recent years, and very little focus has been given to the evaluation of volcanic eruptions. This study aims to consolidate, analyze, and present, in a systematic way, an efficient evacuation plan based on a mathematical model to safeguard the integrity of the population in case of an eruption of the Cotopaxi volcano. This study proposes a multiobjective mixed integer linear programming (MILP) model to minimize the total time and cost required to evacuate people considering the logistics of rescue operations, shelters, and distribution centers’ optimal allocations. The study’s findings include an emergency evacuation plan that reduces evacuation times from 64.4 to 28.36  min/person to safe locations, a solution that local and international governments can use to enhance contingency plans and improve the distribution of humanitarian aid for events of a similar nature.

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