Skip to comments.Both Coasts of Americas Seen Vulnerable to Tsunamis (We're ALL Gonna DIE !!! Alert)
Posted on 02/08/2005 8:26:56 PM PST by presidio9
Both the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of the Americas are vulnerable to tsunamis like the one that devastated Indian Ocean shorelines in December and experts said on Tuesday they are scrambling to try to get warning system in place before politicians lose interest.
"It's not if but when," said Laura Kong, director of the International Tsunami Information Center run by the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission and the United Nations (news - web sites) Educational, Scientific and Cultural organization.
She and other experts want to use momentum from the Dec. 26 Indian Ocean tsunami that killed or left missing nearly 300,000 people to press for a global warning system.
Experts have been trying since a tsunami hit Chile's coast in 1960, but the disasters occur so infrequently that it is difficult to keep the attention of governments, she said.
The magnitude 9 earthquake off the coast of the Indonesian island of Sumatra lifted the sea floor 15 feet and displaced trillions of gallons of water, causing the monster wave that swamped coastlines as far away as Somalia.
The quake registered right away, but it took several hours for instruments to show just how large it was, Kong told a news conference arranged by the Smithsonian Institution (news - web sites)'s magazine.
"What they didn't have information on was whether a real tsunami had been generated," she said. There were no underwater monitoring stations to measure the displacement of water.
There are such stations in the Pacific, where 85 percent of tsunamis occur, but not in other vulnerable areas.
George Maul, a professor of Oceanography at the Florida Institute of Technology, has been trying to organize a tsunami warning system for the Atlantic and Caribbean for years.
THREATS FROM VOLCANOES
There are several active Caribbean volcanoes that could set off an inundating wave, he said. There are also active zones in the Canary Islands off the coast of Africa and off the coasts of Spain and Portugal that could generate tsunamis.
The best protection, he said, is a program to inform people about the warning signs of a tsunami so they can flee.
In January U.S. officials said they would spend $37.5 million over two years to set up new deep-sea warning systems aimed at giving near-total coverage for the U.S. coastline.
"We estimate that within 100 km (50 miles) of the coastline globally, there will be 600 million more people by 2025," Maul said.
The best system may be based on old air-alert sirens, said Timothy Walsh of the Washington Department of Natural Resources. He foresees a system of loudspeakers on poles hooked directly into the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's weather warning system.
Many communities will have to be evacuated within half an hour or less of a big quake in the Northwest's Cascadia subduction zone, but roads could be damaged.
"The evacuation will have to be made by foot and right away," said Walsh.
It might also be possible to build earthquake- and tsunami-proof buildings, tall enough to survive inundation and strong enough to survive the battering they would take.
John in Boston
Stop clowing around. This is both hugh and series.
As a resident of the state of Kansas (KCMO metro area), I am deeply concerned about a tsunami washing me away.
I really don't feel comfortable discussing this til I read the whole piece. I'm gonna print it out.
We're talking Blue States, right?
My parents live on the GA coast, but what the outer bar doesn't catch the tidal rivers and inlets and islands should . . . assuming this happens any time soon . .. which I kinda doubt.
(Why don't we worry about the New Madrid Fault, just for a change of pace?)
If it makes it over the Rockies I deserve to die. I'm gonna worry about that damned volcano up in Yellowstone it's too close for comfort.
Unquestionably Bush's fault...
Reuters politically correct egalitarianism now even extends to the world's oceans. After all, they don't want to just single out the Indian Ocean. That would be oceanic discrimination.
Boy, am I a good sport or what?
Odd that nobody worries about Charleston, South Carolina getting leveled by an earthquake again. Can't remember a thread I've even seen a mention of it. People are too obsessed with Yellowstone, etc.
I've read that they travel 600 miles per hour and also that when you see one coming that if you walk fast you can get far enough inland before it reaches shore to be safe. ???
They only travel 400+ miles per hour in the deep (miles deep) open ocean. They're not even noticeable when they're moving that fast.
They travel about 40 mph when they're hitting land. Too fast to outrun, still.
However, if you start walking or running inland when you see the water rapidly recede preceeding the tsunami, in most cases in most locations you'll be safe.
1886? My great grandparents were there at the time. Apparently it was a big mess, but not too many folks were killed. Lot of chimneys fell down though.
I love 1,000 feet above the water. Not too worried about Tsunamis but the Yellowstone volcano is another matter.
I don't really care, though. If I lived my life looking out for everything that could possibly kill me I wouldn't do anything.
Don't you understand that they are going to hit both coasts simultaneously? I'm telling you: WE'RE SCREWED.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.