NOAA / NWS Tsunami Warning Program

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1 NOAA / NWS Tsunami Warning Program Tyree Wilde Warning Coordination Meteorologist & Charles Dalton Meteorologist NWS Portland, OR

2 Overview Overview of Tsunami Warning Program Tsunami Warning Dissemination The Role of NOAA Weather Radio TsunamiReady Program

3 Hilo, Hawaii 7:00 a.m. April 1, earthquake off the west coast of So. America Tsunami hit Hilo, HI 15 hours later 35 foot waves in Hilo Harbor 61 fatalities

4 1964 Alaska Earthquake &Tsunami March 1964, 9.1 earthquake near Valdez 115 fatalities (106 from Tsunami) (4 in Oregon)

5 National Weather Service Tsunami Program These two events resulted in the creation of the Tsunami Warning Centers for the United States Pacific Tsunami Warning Center established in 1949 after the Hilo, HI tsunami West Coast / Alaska Tsunami Warning Center established in 1967 after the 1964 Great Alaska earthquake and subsequent tsunami

6 2004 SE Asia Earthquake and 250,000 plus fatalities Tsunami

7 Aftermath Indonesian Tsunami Indonesian Tsunami resulted in a renewed interest in Tsunami s and their devastating effect! Data Network Outreach & Education People want to understand and be prepared

8 Operates two centers National Weather Service Tsunami Program West Coast/Alaska Tsunami Warning Center (Palmer, AK) Pacific Tsunami Warning Center (Ewa, Hawaii) WC/ATWC responsible for the coastal areas of AK, BC, WA, OR, CA Also, Atlantic and Caribbean Pacific TWC international warning center for Pacific-wide threat 26 member countries Initial warnings based solely on seismic data Dissemination via NAWAS - FAA Administrative Teletype System NOAA Weather Wire - NWS dedicated circuits - Emergency Mgr Weather Info Network (EMWIN) USCG Circuits - Many others

9 The WCATWC Area of Responsibility (AOR)

10 Tsunami Threat to West Coast Distant Tsunami tele-tsunami Cascadia Subduction zone local tsunami

11

12 WC/ATWC will provide advance warning Travel Times from Unimak Island, Alaska

13 Mother Nature (earthquake) will be your warning Tsunami Travel Times for a Cascadia Event

14 Warning Warning Program Technology People Let s go look at the Data Network!

15 The Warning System Detection / Warning Dissemination Response

16 The Warning Partnership National Weather Service News Media & Private Sector Meteorologists The Public Emergency Management

17 Tsunami Data Network A look at the Data Network

18 Seismic Data Network ~200 stations

19 Tsunami Detectors Deep-Ocean Assessment and Reporting of Tsunamis (DART)

20 Tsunami DART Buoy Network 39 Buoys deployed

21 Tidal Gage Network Initiate wave height assessment from tide gauge and buoy data

22 Tsunami Travel Time Crescent City Tide Gage

23 Process for Issuing a Tsunami Warning Earthquake occurs Automated seismic sensors alert WC/ATWC Earthquake is initially located and sized automatically Information compared to historical database Tsunami Warning/alert messages disseminated Monitor tide gages and DART buoys to confirm tsunami If no wave is recorded on tide gages, warning is cancelled.

24 Message Definitions Tsunami Warning: Highest level of tsunami alert. Imminent threat of a tsunami from a large undersea earthquake or confirmation that a potentially damaging tsunami is underway. Tsunami Watch: Second highest level of tsunami alert. Issued based on seismic information without confirmation that a destructive tsunami is underway Advance alert to areas that could be impacted by a tsunami

25 Message Definitions Tsunami Advisory: Third highest level of tsunami alert. Issued for the threat of a potential tsunami which may produce strong currents, dangerous to those in or near the water. Information Statement: Issued to advise that an earthquake has occurred and advise to it s potential for generating a tsunami. Indicates no threat of a destructive tsunami affecting a Tsunami Warning Center s Area of Responsibility

26 Message Thresholds Magnitudes less than 7.0 Tsunami information statement Magnitudes from 7.1 to 7.5 Warning for an area which extends to the nearest breakpoint beyond 250km from the epicenter Magnitudes 7.6 to 7.8 Warning for an area which extends to the nearest breakpoint beyond 500km from the epicenter Magnitudes 7.9 and greater Warning if wave arrival within 3 hours travel time from epicenter - Watch if wave within 6 hours travel time from epicenter

27 Dissemination of Tsunami Watches & Warnings NAWAS NOAA Weather Radio / EAS Media (radio, television) Community Dissemination Systems Internet, Pagers, Cell Phones, , Text msg USCG circuits Many others

28 Tsunami Warning Dissemination Main dissemination paths FEMA-NAWAS NWWS FAA NADIN2 NWS Gateway Secondary paths EM lists TsunamiWatcher Phone Cell Phone Text Msg RSS Web

29 The Role of NOAA Weather Radio Broadcast Tsunami Watches & Warnings SAME codes (activates EAS) 1050 hz tone (alerts weather radio receivers) Messages updated at least hourly Also broadcast Tsunami Advisories (no alert tones or EAS for Advisory)

30 NWR Transmitters

31 Information via the Web West Coast/Alaska Tsunami Warning Center (tsunami.gov) weather.gov/portland Event Map

32 / Pager Get messages via / pager Register via Tsunami Watcher page at:

33 TsunamiReady Is your Community Ready?

34 What is TsunamiReady? A voluntary community preparedness program that promotes tsunami hazard readiness Primary goal to improve public safety during tsunami emergencies A collaborative effort between federal, state, and local agencies, and the public A part of the NWS StormReady Program

35 As of March 2009 there are 61 TsunamiReady Communities in 10 States

36 Pacific Northwest TsunamiReady Communities

37 TsunamiReady Communities 17 TR Communities in PacNW (March 2009) Aberdeen, WA Ocean Shores, WA Long Beach, WA Quinault Indian Nation Cannon Beach, OR Rockaway Beach, OR Manzanita, OR Nehalem, OR Wheeler, OR Lincoln City, OR Callam County, WA Jefferson County, WA Grays Harbor County, WA Pacific County, WA Tillamook County, OR Douglas County, OR Coos County, OR

38 How does a Community become TsunamiReady? Establish Communication and Coordination Plan 24 Hour Warning Point Emergency Operations Center Receive Critical Tsunami Warning Information NOAA Weather Radio NOAA Weather Wire Emergency Managers Weather Information Network News Media (Radio/TV) Internet Pagers, cell phones, etc.

39 How does a Community become TsunamiReady? Disseminate Tsunami Warnings Emergency Alert System Cable Override NOAA Weather Radio in public buildings Sirens Other systems unique to the area

40 How does a Community become TsunamiReady? Increase Community Preparedness Provide Tsunami safety presentations Designate/establish tsunami area in safe zone Designate tsunami evacuation areas and evacuation routes, and install evacuation route signs Provide written, locality specific, tsunami hazard response material to public Schools: encourage tsunami hazard curriculum, practice evacuations, and provide safety material to staff and students

41 How does a Community become TsunamiReady? Administrative Develop formal tsunami hazard operations plan Annual meeting/discussion by emergency manager with NWS Visits by NWS official to community

42 Questions?

43 TsunamiReady Web Resources Tsunami Information: tsunami.gov NWS TsunamiReady Page: wcatwc.gov/tsunamiready/tready.htm NWS West Coast & Alaska Tsunami Warning Center: wcatwc.gov/main.html

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