Japan Tsunami 1st Anniversary

By March 7, 2012Ocean News

Tsunami Devastation

March 3rd marked the 1-year Anniversary of the devastating Tsunami that hit the East Coast of Japan. The giant wave was preceded by massive earthquake that was over 8 on the richter scale. The wave came is like a silent killer destroying everything and everyone in its path.

If you don’t remember what happened, check out this video:

The Earthquake was so great, that the Tsunami didn’t just hit Japan, it hit California as well.

The Damage in California was in the millions and I can only imagine what the damages cost in Japan…Of course there was that major incident with the Nuclear Power Plant (but that is a topic for another video). One year later, you have to ask yourself what people have learnt about Tsunamis.

Last week a workshop was held between government officials and the media to figure out the best way to warn people about a Tsunami. The workshop had an education component for the attendees to describe the last Tsunami. One topic was the wave dynamics…in particular how a 1-foot wave travelled across the Pacific Ocean at 400 miles/hour until it got close to shore and slowed to 40 miles/hour and then increased significantly in height – scary stuff.

So some of the topics discussed were getting the word out through TV, Radio, and even social media. Social Media spreads quickly although it could be built on rumours and may be inaccurate. There is also the problem of getting the word out if various languages especially in Spanish for Californians who only Speak Spanish.

Budget cuts were also a hot topic. The is a proposed cut of $1 million dollars to the Tsunami Early Warning program which operates and maintains a series of buoys scattered across the Pacific, which is at best 80% operational because a system like that is hard to maintain. So a cut of $1 million dollars would put the efficiency at 72% to warn California, Oregon, Washington, and Alaska. It seems as though this is a system that shouldn’t be cut due the severity of the matter.

On the other hand, what are the chances that it will happen again? Is this something that we don’t have to worry too much about because it only happens every once in a while. Perhaps we should tell that to the families that have been affected by the Tsunamis within the past 10 years.

Question Of The Day

Do you think there should ever be cuts to the Tsunami Early Warning System?

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