IS there a Tsunami warning system? If not how do we get them?

Tsunamis are generated by earthquakes, landslides, volcanic eruption and meteorites. Whenever one of these events causes a vertical displacement of water, from below or above, a tsunami event may be triggered. There are tsunami warning systems that monitor these seismic events and predict the likelihood of tsunami. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center consists of 26 member countries in and around the Pacific Ocean. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) also operates a tsunami warning system as does the National Weather Service (in the U.S.).

You can find out more here http://www.geophys.washington.edu/tsunami/intro.html

Here, in Japan, whenever there’s an earthquake (which is pretty often) there’s always a caption that appears on tv mentioning the risk of tsunami. I used to live on the coast and we would have tsunami drills a few times a year. The town had an emergency p.a. system it used to broadcast warnings throughout the village.

And a warning if you get attacked by giant robots :slight_smile:

Link to the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center bulletins.

You know, “tidal wave” is just as legit term for them as bringing in some foreign word…

Yes, I know they are not usually caused by tides- most often caused by siemic action. But “tidal” in this case just means “of & pertaining to the sea” not “caused by tides”) . "Tsunami" means "harbor wave’ and they ain’t limited to harbors- nor caused by them, either! :smiley:

"Siesmic wave’ is usually the best term- when they ARE caused by seismic action, that is!

Well, if it wasn’t for foreign words, English speakers would have virtually no English to speak.

Incidently, tsunami, in Japanese is taidaru ueebu.

Well, no, not really. I’m just kidding.

In Hawaii. where the risk of tsunami are higher, the warning system consists largely of sirens that blare continuously in the event of a tsunami threat. The EBS also commandeers the radio and television stations, broadcasting alerts and updates.

Monthly, they test the sirens. On the first day of the month, at 11:45 am, you can hear 'em wail for about a minute.

…and it will continue to be that way until the great First Day of the Month Lunchtime Tidal Wave that nobody knew was coming.

Already happened. And it wasn’t just any first but April Fools Day. Way back in 1946. I think the test and the warning sound different or maybe are different in length. They changed the system a few years ago and I’ve never gotten around to seeing how it works.

:snerk: :smiley:
Thankfully, we now have the technology to keep tsunami from sneaking up on us. After the Kobe, Japan earthquake in 1995, by about 5am, mere minutes after it’d happened, the PTWC knew about it and alerted the EBS. Everyone knew about it from either the broadcast media or word of mouth well before they got to work or school, if they went at all.

The tsunami (all 1/2 inch of it) didn’t actually hit us until about six hours later.

Tsunami are not caused just by seismic activity.

An event at Lituya bay in 1958 showed another way that immense waves can be generated, a landslip caused a wave of around 1750 feet to slosh around.

This has led to geologists to look around for possible sites, one is at the Cumbre Vieja volcano on the island of La Palma.The island is slowly falling apart, and if it suddenly breaks the resulting landslip has been already modelled and calculated, at 2130 feet falling to a mere 130-169 feet by the time it hit North America.

This island is closely monitored so there would be a certain amount of warning, but quite how one would evacuate the North American seaboard to a distance of perhaps 20 miles or more in a couple of hours is a good question.

Other possible sites have been identified but this is the one of immediate concern.

The other possible cause of giant waves having no source of seismic activity is that of asteroid hits, here the actual wave height has no practical upper limit, the wave could be literally several miles high, anthing greater would be irelevant.

My wife and I have a “tsunami warning/evacuation system” magnet on our fridge. :cool: