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Eirik
2004-Dec-27, 11:17 PM
The coverage of the disaster around the Bay of Bengal, and the lack of warnings that contributed to apparently thousands of dead, got me to thinking. Is there a Tsunami warning system in the US?

It's not like it hasn't happened. After Anchorage, California and Hawaii were both struck by large tsunamis. I'm not tremendously worried about it happening where I am, I suspect that the Olympic Mountains would protect most of the Seattle region from all but the most massive of surges to a large degree, but if something were headed for Los Angeles, San Fransico, Boston, Miami, etc, what kind of warning system is in place?

Brady Yoon
2004-Dec-27, 11:21 PM
I wouldn't think so. The epicenter, off the coast of Indonesia, is almost halfway around the world. The waves would probably be very small or nonexistent.

01101001
2004-Dec-27, 11:24 PM
Is there a Tsunami warning system in the US?
West Coast and Alaska Tsunami Warning Center (http://wcatwc.arh.noaa.gov/)

Pacific Tsunami Warning Center (http://www.prh.noaa.gov/ptwc/)

International Tsunami Information Center (http://www.prh.noaa.gov/itic/)

Kesh
2004-Dec-28, 12:27 AM
Like our binary friend linked, Alaska and Hawaii have tsunami warning systems. Hawaii's was implemented after a tsunami caused major damage and loss of life on the big island in the 60's, and Alaska did the same after the '64 quake caused a smaller tsunami of its own.

sarongsong
2004-Dec-28, 04:54 AM
And the U.S. east coast?
Volcanic island a threat to US coast (http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,5744,11794033%255E30417,00.html)
"...A massive chunk of La Palma, the most volcanically active island in the Canaries archipelago, is unstable...500 billion tonne rock could collapse the next time the volcano, Cumbre Vieja, erupts...would send a dome-shaped wall of water up to 100m tall - 10 times as high as the tsunamis that hit south Asia - racing across the Atlantic at 800km/h..."

aurora
2004-Dec-28, 05:04 AM
Hilo, Hawaii has a good Tsunami museum in the downtown area (for obvious reasons, if you know the history of Hilo). Any science fans should visit it if you go to the Big Island.

They even have a live web cam of Hilo Bay.

I just tried to get to their web site and couldn't. It is tsunami.org

Van Rijn
2004-Dec-28, 07:19 AM
It's not like it hasn't happened. After Anchorage, California and Hawaii were both struck by large tsunamis. I'm not tremendously worried about it happening where I am, I suspect that the Olympic Mountains would protect most of the Seattle region from all but the most massive of surges to a large degree, but if something were headed for Los Angeles, San Fransico, Boston, Miami, etc, what kind of warning system is in place?

Yup, as I mentioned elsewhere deaths due to the '64 Alaskan tsunami, which killed people on islands, the Alaskan and Washington coast, etc. pushed the U.S. to put in a tsunami warning system up there. My father went around the Alaskan islands soon after that planning and installing tsunami warning stations. The system is far more sophiticated these days, is an international effort, and continues to be expanded in the Pacific. The Indian ocean doesn't get as many tsunamis, and unfortunately, much of the region is very poor, so a warning system has been a much lower priority there. This event may change that ...

Argos
2004-Dec-28, 12:02 PM
And the U.S. east coast?
Volcanic island a threat to US coast (http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,5744,11794033%255E30417,00.html)
"...A massive chunk of La Palma, the most volcanically active island in the Canaries archipelago, is unstable...500 billion tonne rock could collapse the next time the volcano, Cumbre Vieja, erupts...would send a dome-shaped wall of water up to 100m tall - 10 times as high as the tsunamis that hit south Asia - racing across the Atlantic at 800km/h..."

Scientists now dispute those claims. There is evidence that the island has been collapsing in "small" pieces.

If it were to happen, not only the North American east coast would be affected. The Caribbean and northern South America would be swept as well. However, tsunamis canīt be ruled out at all, since all oceans have geologically active areas.

Manchurian Taikonaut
2004-Dec-28, 06:11 PM
The coverage of the disaster around the Bay of Bengal, and the lack of warnings that contributed to apparently thousands of dead, got me to thinking. Is there a Tsunami warning system in the US?

It's not like it hasn't happened. After Anchorage, California and Hawaii were both struck by large tsunamis. I'm not tremendously worried about it happening where I am, I suspect that the Olympic Mountains would protect most of the Seattle region from all but the most massive of surges to a large degree, but if something were headed for Los Angeles, San Fransico, Boston, Miami, etc, what kind of warning system is in place?

I'm not sure how fast it is, but Earthquake warnings and Tidal wave watch systems are better in the USA, they have quicker and more accurate information. The biggest Danger is people not obeying or reacting, remember when mt St Helens made that huge explosion some years back, a number of people refused to move from the mountain side...their homes were destroyed along with the people

Safety, prevention and evacuation is important in such events

Argos
2004-Dec-28, 06:35 PM
biggest Danger is people not obeying or reacting, remember when mt St Helens made that huge explosion some years back, a number of people refused to move from the mountain side...their homes were destroyed along with the people

Safety, prevention and evacuation is important in such events

According to this site (http://www.sunnetwork.org/news/regional/tamilnadu/tamilnadu.asp?id=13217), the Asian big water walls came in rounds, from 8:30 to 11:00 am.

As I heard on the Brazilian TV last night, the first one was not too big, and in many places people got indeed thrilled by the spectacle. Apparently, in some places people had a 40-minute window to run for shelter (if there was any), before the really devastating ones arrived.

Van Rijn
2004-Dec-28, 11:20 PM
Yes, some people waited and watched the '64 tsunami as well, instead of running when they had the chance. Human nature, apparently ...

aurora
2004-Dec-29, 02:15 AM
Yes, some people waited and watched the '64 tsunami as well, instead of running when they had the chance. Human nature, apparently ...

One of the major messages they try to get across in the Tsunami museum in Hilo is that when there is a warning, people should get to high ground ASAP. And not head to the shore to watch the waves. As unbelievable as it seems, people do in fact do that.

They also try to convey the understanding that when the waves hit the shallow bottom of the harbor, the force picks up rocks and pieces of coral and blocks that are used in a breakwater. So when the wave comes ashore it is not just water, it is combined with large pieces of rock. So anyone foolish enough to head out trying to surf the tsunami will be crushed and killed.

jfribrg
2004-Dec-29, 02:30 AM
I recall in 1989, I was sleeping on the beach in Seward Alaska, when the beach campground I was on was evacuated because of a tsunami warning. Everyone had to get 50 feet above sea level. Given how hilly Seward is, you only had to walk a block away from the beach, and you were 50 feet up. There had been a 7.4 magnitude earthquake in the Gulf of Alaska an hour earlier, and that resulted in the warning. When day broke around 5:00 am, it was determined that there was no resulting tsunami and the warning was lifted. I'm not sure how widespread the warning system is, but it appeared to be in place 15 years ago.

TriangleMan
2004-Dec-29, 12:32 PM
And the U.S. east coast?
Volcanic island a threat to US coast (http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,5744,11794033%255E30417,00.html)
"...A massive chunk of La Palma, the most volcanically active island in the Canaries archipelago, is unstable...500 billion tonne rock could collapse the next time the volcano, Cumbre Vieja, erupts...would send a dome-shaped wall of water up to 100m tall - 10 times as high as the tsunamis that hit south Asia - racing across the Atlantic at 800km/h..."

Scientists now dispute those claims. There is evidence that the island has been collapsing in "small" pieces.
BBC reported on this in October (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/3963563.stm). Needless to say Bermudian media maintain an interest in this story - a 100 meter wave would completely destroy Bermuda. 8-[

Bawheid
2004-Dec-29, 12:38 PM
Build hills now......... :o