Pacific tsunami highlights need to prepare

The tsunami that struck American Samoa this week – and prompted a brief warning on the Oregon coast – illustrates the need for coastal tsunami preparedness, and how far most of the tsunami-prone world has to go toward developing an effective warning and response system.

This CBS News report on the science of tsunamis includes a good animation of how tsunamis occur, along with commentary by Dawn Wright, Oregon State University geosciences professor. National Public Radio, meanwhile, reported on progress toward preparedness in the seismically active Pacific Rim since the devastating tsunami that struck Indonesia in 2004. “The biggest challenge … remains keeping people aware and knowledgeble about this hazard so that they strike, people do the right thing, ” said Charles McCreery, director of NOAA’s Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Hawaii.

In Oregon, Sea Grant’s Pat Corcoran is among those working to make coastal communities and their residents aware of what to do should a tsunami strike our coast:

For more information about tsunamis and preparedness, watch the Oregon Sea Grant video “Reaching Higher Ground.”

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