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Is there a system to warn populations of an imminent occurrence of a tsunami?

In 2005, the President's tsunami-warning initiative directed $37.5 million to the USGS and NOAA to improve the Nation's domestic tsunami detection and warning system.

 

As part of that commitment, the USGS has received $13.5 million to strengthen its ability to detect global earthquakes both through 24-7 analysis of earthquake events and through improvements in the Global Seismographic Network, a partnership with the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology. These changes are enabling the USGS to provide NOAA's tsunami-warning centers with faster, more accurate estimates of earthquake location and size.

 

Tsunamis are triggered by earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, submarine landslides, and by onshore landslides in which large volumes of debris fall into the water. All of these triggers can occur in the United States. Although many people think of a tsunami as a single, breaking wave, it typically consists of multiple waves that rush ashore like a fast-rising tide with powerful currents. Tsunamis can travel much farther inland than normal waves. If a tsunami-causing disturbance occurs close to the coastline, a resulting tsunami can reach coastal communities within minutes.

 

Tragically, no such system existed for the Bay of Bengal where the devastating earthquake and tsunami occurred in December 2004.

 

Learn more:

Pacific Tsunami Warning Center

West Coast & Alaska Tsunami Warning Center

International Tsunami Information Center

Improving Earthquake and Tsunami Warnings for the
Caribbean Sea, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Atlantic Coast

Tags: Tsunamis, Earthquakes