US coastal residents are still far more vulnerable than they should be to tsunamis that begin near land, the National Research Council says in a report released Sept. 17, 2010. Tsunamis are large sea waves generated by forces such as earthquakes, volcanoes, or underwater landslides.
One of the most significant problems is a continuing lack of communication between federal tsunami warning system officials; local officials and emergency managers; the media; and the public.
A number of substantial improvements have been made at the federal, state, and local levels in recent years, the authors say. Nonetheless, improvements are still needed across the board, including assessing vulnerable areas, expanding and coordinating the warning network, and educating the public.