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Warning Systems And Prevention Techniques Of Tsunamis

1259 words - 5 pages

Tsunamis are series of ocean waves caused by underwater seismic activity or volcanic activity. Several countries all around the world are being affected by this type of natural disaster and even though usually small tsunamis do not cause much damage, the giant waves are a threat.A tsunami while reaching the shore full of people. http://www.positivestart.org/images/china_2002_wave_350.jpgThe tsunami from December 2004 was generated by a 9.1 magnitude earthquake and its waves devastated the Indian Ocean region as well as some parts of South-East Asia causing the death of around 230,000 people. As tsunamis are a natural disaster, we cannot prevent them but we can use early warning systems and community preparedness to minimize the effects and destruction. In response to the 2004 disaster, the National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration (NOAA) along with the United Nations Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission began to cooperate and established Tsunami Warning Systems (TWS) in the areas of the world where the tsunami occurred, while the NOAA's Pacific Tsunami Center and the Japan Meteorological Agency provided warnings to countries all over the world. A Tsunami Warning System (TWS) is a system which is supposed to detect the tsunami and send out warnings to places that are in danger to prevent the loss of many human lives as well as loss of property. The TWS has a tsunami detecting network of sensors and an alarming system which provides time to evacuate the coastal areas and other areas that are in risk of being hit by the wave. The warning systems have sensors which pick up seismic waves and the earthquake is immediately detected by seismologists because the seismic waves travel with the speed of 14,400 km/h, which gives time for possible tsunami warning because the waves travel with the speed of 500-1000 km/h in open water. However, this system is unable to predict if the earthquake generated a significant tsunami and this way there are more false alarms than actual verified warnings. When the sensors detect an earthquake, they automatically send out signals and after observing the sea level height with shore-based tide gauges the existence of a tsunami is verified.A diagram of how a tsunami is triggered by an earthquake. http://assets.panda.org/img/original/363px_tsunami_comic_book_style.pngIn order to be able limit losses and human victims caused by a tsunami, inhabitants of coasts must realize what is exposed to these attacks of waves and be aware of the threat and react to it appropriately. In order to do this there is a need for a tsunami early warning system. In the early 90's two American organizations: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Federal Emergency Agency FEMA have financed the project of creating a scenario of an earthquake in northern California and maps potentially flooded places of cities Eureka and the city of Crescent. The map they managed to create was emerged to show all threat and it was...

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