"U.S. Tsunami Warning System Leaves Coastal Residents Vulnerable"

"America's warning system for the series of giant ocean waves known as a tsunami is better than it was before the deadly 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, but not good enough to meet risks posed by tsunamis generated near land that leave little time for warning, says a new congressionally requested report from the National Research Council.

The report says the United States must do more to get prepared. It is critical of coordination between the two federal Tsunami Warning Centers in Alaska and Hawaii, and their communication with emergency managers, the media, and the public.

'For a tsunami warning system to be effective, it must operate flawlessly, and emergency officials must coordinate seamlessly and communicate clearly,' said John Orcutt, chair of the committee that wrote the report and a professor at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, California.

'If a large earthquake near shore triggers a tsunami, it could reach the coast within minutes, allowing hardly any time to disseminate warnings and for the public to react,' Orcutt said."

Environment News Service had the story September 17, 2010.

Monday, September 20, 2010