Sunday, March 24, 2013

A Better Tsunami Warning?

Another earthquake warning commentary by Lori Dengler in the Times- Standard. She seems to suggest the best warning of a potential tsunami is the ground shaking beneath your feet. I believe she's wrote that before, as have others. I realize she's the expert, but I think she may be at least partly wrong.

What if the earthquake generating the tsunami is across the ocean where you don't feel it? I've mentioned here before that one thing common with tsunamis I've read about is the water recedes real fast before the tsunami actually comes in. Might that be a better warning? You can have earthquakes without tsunamis, but the water always recedes before tsunamis.

Just before the tsunami in Hilo, Hawaii the water receded so much a bunch of tidepools were uncovered with fish flopping around in them. A schoolteacher supposedly sent her kids out to catch the fish. The tsunami caught them. They didn't return.

In that big one in Thailand some years ago, the water receded way back. Tourists on the beach thought that was pretty neat so they went out to check out the previously covered beach. The didn't make it back, either.

Maybe it doesn't happen all the time (although I don't know why it wouldn't) so that's why the experts don't mention it? In any case, it should be mentioned and we should all keep that receding water in mind. It should work whether or not you feel an earthquake, although it may not give as much time to react.


At 9:48 AM, Blogger iaping said...

Can you outrun a tsunami?

At 10:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We need both a tsunami warning system for distant earthquake generated tsunamis and the knowledge that a massive quake here could knock out any warning system and create a massive tsunami hitting in minutes. If there is any strong or prolonged period of shaking one shouldn't wait for a tsunami alarm to get to safe ground.

At 11:10 AM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

Can you outrun a tsunami?.

I don't believe so.

If there is any strong or prolonged period of shaking one shouldn't wait for a tsunami alarm to get to safe ground..

True, but what if the earthquake that generates the tsunami was across the ocean and you didn't feel anything? The tsunami warning system they've set up here is nice, but what if you're not within earshot of it?

I realize there's all kinds of things that can happen. I just think that the bottom line is, if all else fails and you're seeing the ocean recede, best get out of there.

As an aside, the ocean receding doesn't necessarily mean you'll have a big tsunami. An old retired Eureka cop told me he was on the Eureka waterfront back when the big quake hit Alaska and the subsequent tsunami hit Crescent City. He told me, "I've never seen the water drop so low, so fast".

In that case we didn't have a tsunami, at least a noticeable one, but the potential was there. If you see something like that, you should know to get away from the water.

At 6:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fred, why don't you worry about something that you can wrap your head around? It helps to do thorough research before making assumptions. Point is, if there's shaking - especially strong shaking at that - you're not going to want to be near the water to determine whether or not there is a tsunami risk. You're going to want to high-tail it out of there and get to higher ground immediately.

At 7:34 PM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

It helps to do thorough research before making assumptions.

Now here's another fellow that doesn't read well.

At 4:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fred, tsunamis coming across oceans take hours to get here and tsunami sirens can be heard in most beach areas. If you're going to a remote beach, take a radio with you and/or subscribe to NOAA e-mail alerts.

At 5:50 AM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

I suppose they could, but not everybody will. We're talking about tsunami warning signs that don't take technology to use. Just common sense stuff. Not how you should carry radio with you when you go to the beach, although I suppose that's not a bad idea, either.

At 10:11 AM, Blogger Travis said...

Common sense should dictate if you're close enough to see the water recede you're probably going to drown in the f****** tsunami.


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