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Safety Series: How to stay safe during a Tsunami

Posted on Oct 19, 2016 by

Tags: Safety Moment  | Comments (0)

Tsunamis, also known as seismic sea waves, are a series of enormous waves created by an underwater disturbance such as an earthquake, landslide, volcanic eruption, or meteorite. Tsunamis can strike at any time along the coast of any country after a seismic event near or under the ocean floor. It can also last for hours so do not assume that after one wave is gone, the danger is over.

 Areas are at a greater risk if they are less than 25 feet above sea level and within a mile of the shoreline. Tsunami waves travel in every direction from the source of origination. As waves reach the coast, they increase in height. Wave size and height are affected by coastline topography.

 There are 2 types of tsunamis:

  •  Distant tsunami: created from a seismic event far from your location but is able to travel the distance. These types of tsunamis can be detected early on so an evacuation is possible.
  • Local tsunami: generated within a close proximity to your location. These types of tsunamis are very dangerous because they cannot be detected early enough to prompt an evacuation and the waves can arrive on the shore in a matter of minutes.

 

Being prepared for a tsunami:

 If you’re working on a project off-shore or near coastal areas, ensure you are aware of the tsunami evacuation plan. When a tsunami warning is issued there will be no time to plan your evacuation, only time to execute. The evacuation plan should map out the potential routes to take to get into a tsunami safe zone. The U.S. National Tsunami Warning Center issues 5 different alerts: Warning, Advisory, Watch, Information statement and cancelation:

Tsunami Alerts source: http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/safety/emergency-preparedness-response-recovery/preparedbc/know-the-risks/tsunamis

Tsunami Alerts (Source)

 

Actions to take when Tsunami occurs

 

 During a Tsunami:

  • When there is a tsunami warning in your area evacuate immediately
  • Relocate a safe distance from the coast to higher ground
  • Find a location 2 miles from the shore and 100 feet or more above sea level. If it’s not possible to find such a location, travel as far from the shore as possible. Even the slightest variations in distance and altitude make a difference.
  • Avoid the beach if a tsunami warning is issued as visible waves are too close to run from
  • Be cautious of receding water from the beach since it is a sign that a tsunami is imminent.

 

After a Tsunami:

  • Return to site only after local officials tell you it is safe.
  • Avoid areas where flood water is still present, the water there may be toxic and contain harmful chemicals
  • Do not drink tap water until given local authorities deem it safe to drink since tsunamis can damage and contaminate water purification plants.
  • Do not enter any buildings until deemed safe because the structural integrity of the building may be damaged
  • Contact PTAG and emergency contacts to update them on your current situation

 

 

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