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Hazards - Tsunami
Tsunami: The potentially devastating waves that can follow seismic events are threats to any coastal region. Florida has 1,197 miles of coastline, more than any of the lower 48 States.
What Could Cause a Florida Tsunami?
The Puerto Rico Trench
- Boundary between Caribbean, North American, and South American tectonic plates
- Since 1848 eight tsunamis have originated here, causing over 2,500 deaths
- 1918 tsunami from a magnitude 7.5 earthquake killed 116 in Puerto Rico
Cumbre Vieja Volcano in the Canary Islands
- Potential for undersea landslide creating and Atlantic Ocean-wide tsunami ( a.k.a. tele-tsunami)
Azores-Gibraltar Fracture Zone
- Potential for earthquakes, causing atlantic tele-tsunamis
- 1755 earthquake devastated Lisbon, Portugal, and generated only known Atlantic tele-tsunami
Rogue Waves - not tsunamis, but still dangerous
- Little is known about this phenomenon, but likely cause is weather-related
- 1992 rogue wave swamped 30 miles of shoreline around Daytona Beach, causing 75 injuries
- 1995 rogue wave occurred from Tampa to Naples
What's being done to detect tsunamis?
DART Buoy Deployment
- Deep ocean Assessment and Reporting of Tsunamis (DART) buoys confirm tsunami propagation
- Network of seven DART buoys in operations within western Atlantic, Caribbean, and Gulf of Mexico
Seismic Monitoring Worldwide
- NOAA's Tsunami Warning Centers continuously monitor seismic activity for potential tsunami generation
- Tsunami warnings are issued if a magnitude 7 or greater earthquake is detected on or near the coast
How would I know if a tsunami is coming?
Tsunami Watches, Warnings and Advisories
- Tsunami Watches, Warnings and Advisories are issued by NOAA's Tsunami Warning centers http://www.tsunami.noaa.gov/warnings_forecasts.html
- Relayed directly to media, officials, and public via the Emergency Alert System (EAS)
- Messages alerted and broadcast on NOAA weather radios
- If you feel an earthquake or observe a sudden outgoing tide, evacuate the beach immediately
- Evacuate the beach to beyond the 300-foot danger zone (typically inland of coastal roadways)
- If evacuation of danger zone is not possible, move to the highest floor (at least 15 feet high) of a well-constructed building
What's being done to increase awareness and preparedness?
National Weather Service TsunamiReady Program
- A method to improve public safety associated with tsunami emergencies through a collaborative effort between federal, state, and local emergency management agencies and the public.
- Goals of TsunamiReady (http://www.tsunamiready.noaa.gov/)
- Adopt standard community procedures for adequate tsunamis readiness
- Increase public awareness and understanding of tsunamis and their associated hazards
- Encourage consistency in educational materials and response
- Recognize communities that have adopted TsunamiReady guidelines.
Brevard County Emergency Management Office
1746 Cedar Street
Rockledge, Florida 32955
Tel: (321) 637-6670
Fax: (321) 633-1738
Director Kimberly Prosser