Tuesday, March 22, 2011

HOW TO SURVIVE A TSUNAMI - advice we wish we would have had!

When I read this HOW TO SURVIVE A TSUNAMI article, I was shocked. What they describe here is exactly what happened. It describes what really happened. It is just that did now know before then what a Tsunami was - or what we should be looking for. Great advice - but a little too late... 

Tsunami Safety 
Tsunamis that strike coastal locations along the coast of South Asia are most always caused by earthquakes. These earthquakes might occur far away or near where you live. According to historical records the Coromandel Coast (Coast of eastern India), the Ganga delta and Sri Lanka have experienced tsunamis with maximum heights of 1.5 - 2.0 meters (1941 - Andamans earthquakes, 1883 - Krakatoa volcanic eruption). The western Indian coast (Konkan, Malabar and Kerala), Gujarat and the southern coast of Pakistan, have in the past experienced major tsunamis. The 1945 earthquake off Pakistan's Mekran coast caused a 12 meters tsunami. This wave reportedly had a height of 6 meters in Kutchh and 2.5 meters in Mumbai. The 1819 Kutchh earthquake, too caused a tsunami and considerable subsidence in the Kutchh area. 

Some tsunamis can be very large. In coastal areas their height can be as great as 30 feet or more (100 feet in extreme cases), and they can move inland several hundred feet. All low lying coastal areas can be struck by tsunamis. A tsunami consists of a series of waves. Often the first wave may not be the largest. The danger from a tsunami can last for several hours after the arrival of the first wave. Tsunamis can move faster than a person can run. Sometimes a tsunami causes the water near shore to recede, exposing the ocean floor. The force of some tsunamis is enormous. Large rocks weighing several tons along with boats and other debris can be moved inland hundreds of feet by the tsunami wave activity. Homes and other buildings are destroyed. All this material and water move with great force and can kill or injure people. Tsunamis can occur at any time, day or night. The 1945 Arabian sea tsunami struck the western coast of India in the early hours of the morning. Tsunamis can travel up rivers and streams that lead to the ocean. 

What you should do: 
Be aware of tsunami facts. This knowledge could save your life! Share this knowledge with your relatives and friends. It could save their lives! If you are in school and you hear there is a tsunami warning, you should follow the advice of teachers and other school personnel. If you are at home and hear there is a tsunami warning, you should make sure you entire family is aware of the warning. Your family should evacuate your house if you live in a tsunami evacuation. Move in an orderly, calm and safe manner to the evacuation site or to any safe place outside your evacuation zone. Follow the advice of local emergency and law enforcement authorities. Never go down to the beach to watch for a tsunami! WHEN YOU CAN SEE THE WAVE YOU ARE TOO CLOSE TO ESCAPE. Tsunamis can move faster than a person can run. If you are at the beach or near the ocean and you feel the earth shake, move immediately to higher ground. DO NOT wait for a tsunami warning to be announced. Stay away from rivers and streams that lead to the ocean as you would stay away from the beach and ocean if there is a tsunami. A regional tsunami from a local earthquake could strike some areas before a tsunami warning could be announced. Tsunamis generated in distant locations will generally give people enough time to move to higher ground. For locally generated tsunamis, where you might feel the ground shake, you may only have a few minutes to move to higher ground. A tsunami is not a single wave, but a series of waves. Stay out of danger until an "ALL CLEAR" is issued by a competent authority. Approaching tsunamis are sometimes heralded by noticeable rise or fall of coastal waters. This is nature's tsunami warning and should be heeded. Approaching large tsunamis are usually accompanied by a loud roar that sounds like a train or aircraft. If a tsunami arrives at night when you can not see the ocean, this is also nature's tsunami warning and should be heeded. A small tsunami at one beach can be a giant a few miles away. Do not let modest size of one make you lose respect for all. High, multi-story, reinforced concrete hotels are located in many low-lying coastal areas. The upper floors of these hotels can provide a safe place to find refuge should there be a tsunami warning and you cannot move quickly inland to higher ground. Local Civil Defence procedures may, however, not allow this type of evacuation in your area. Homes and small buildings located in low lying coastal areas are not designed to withstand tsunami impacts. Do not stay in these structures should there be a tsunami warning. Offshore reefs and shallow areas may help break the force of tsunami waves, but large and dangerous waves can still be threat to coastal residents in these areas. Staying away fro all low-lying coastal areas is the safest advice when there is a tsunami warning.