Monday, December 27, 2004

Tsunami's in Hawaii

To help assuage fears of a tsunami in Hawaii I did a little research. The US has 2 Pacific Tsunami Warning Center (Hawaii and Alaska) along with a natural warning systems in place that monitors receding water and tide measurements. They did detect the 9.0 quake and called 26 countries to warn them, but they had no system setup to warn everyone.

The US tsunami centers get information from the National Data Buoy Center, whose network of buoys measure the size of waves. The Indian ocean does not have any of these buoys. It requires an earthquake of at least 6.5 to start a tsunami.

Hawaii has not been hit by a Tsunami since 1964. Before that time they averaged about one every 7 years.

March 28, 1964: Good Friday earthquake in Alaska sends out a wave swamping much of the Alaskan coast and destroying three villages. The wave kills 107 people in Alaska, four in Oregon and 11 in California as it sweeps down the West Coast.

May 22, 1960: A wave reported as up to 35 feet high kills 1,000 in Chile and causes damage in Hawaii, where 61 die, and in the Philippines, Okinawa and Japan as it sweeps across the Pacific.

April 1, 1946: Alaskan quake generates tsunami that destroys North Cape Lighthouse, killing five. Hours later the wave arrives at Hilo, Hawaii, killing 159 people and doing millions of dollars in damage.

June 15, 1896: The Sanriku tsunami strikes Japan without warning. A wave estimated at more than 70 feet high hits a crowd gathered to celebrate a religious festival, killing more than 26,000 people.

Aug 27, 1883: the eruption of the volcano Krakatau generates a massive wave that sweeps over the shores of nearby Java and Sumatra, killing 36,000 people.

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