Butrflynet
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Mar, 2011 09:51 am
This is an enormous relief:

(Reuters) - The United States appears to be out of major danger from a tsunami caused by an earthquake near Japan, White House chief of staff Bill Daley said on Friday.

"The tsunami wave has gone through Hawaii and there does not seem to be any enormous impact, which is extremely encouraging," Daley said at a meeting of the President's Export Council.

There is still some risk to the U.S. West Coast, "but I think the enormous fears that that were there hours ago, for some of us hours ago, has diminished greatly, which is quite a relief for all of us," Daley said.

---------------------------------

Pacific Northwest Hit by Tsunami
March 11, 2011 - 10:19 AM | by: Dan Springer

The first U.S. soil to be hit by the tsunami triggered by an 8.9 magnitude earthquake in Japan was in Alaska. The western Aleutian Islands were hit at 4 a.m. EST by a 5.1 foot wave. Shemya, Alaska was reporting no damage despite the sizeable wave. John Madden, Alaska’s Director of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, says 20 warning sirens were sounded in 13 communities and evacuation plans worked perfectly.

Shemya is lightly populated with fewer than 100 residents, but it used to be home to a U.S. Air Force base. The Island’s topography helped. It’s a rocky shoreline which rises quickly in elevation. The tsunami’s strength diminished as it moved eastward along the Alaska coast. By the time it reached the commercial fishing town of Dutch Harbor, the wave was just 1.6 feet. Fishing vessels heeded warnings and any that were in harbor went out to sea where the waves were even smaller.

Washington State is under a tsunami watch with the highest wave expected at 10:15 est in the town of Moclips. Officials are anticipating a 3 foot wave. The small town is close to the Qwinalt Indian Reservation. Most in the low lying area evacuated for higher ground. At least two Washington school districts are either starting late or cancelling classes. A hotel owner in the resort town of Ocean Shores tells Fox News some guests did check out and traffic has been heavy on the peninsula throughout the early morning hours.

The highest waves are expected in southern Oregon. Officials in Curry County are anticipating waves up to 6 1/2 feet high. Police and fire have been going house to house to ask people to evacuate. Most of the 22,000 residents in the county live close to the ocean.


0 Replies
 
Butrflynet
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Mar, 2011 09:58 am
Residents of a northern California harbor town once hit by a deadly tsunami are preparing for another as waves spawned by the massive Japan quake move closer to the western U.S. coast.

Fishermen in Crescent City are firing up their crab boats and leaving the harbor to ride out an expected swell, while residents living in a trailer park nearby are heading to higher ground.

Police are cruising low-lying areas, spreading the word to evacuate.

Boat owner John Brunsing says it isn't so much the swell that's dangerous but floating piers that get pushed over dock pilings when big waves hit.

Retired insurance agent Steve Wiley who lives at the Bayshore RV park say he was told of the evacuation by the sheriff who knocked on the door.

A 1964 tsunami killed 11 people in Crescent City.
-----------------------------------------------
California Tsunami Victims Recall 1964's Killer Waves
Willie Drye
National Geographic News
January 21, 2005

The news of the December 26 tsunami had special
resonance for residents of Crescent City, California. Their waterfront
town of about 7,500 was devastated when a tsunami swept in from the
Pacific Ocean early on March 28, 1964. The business district was leveled, and 11 people were killed.

Gary Clawson is still trying to make sense of what happened on that long-ago night. The ferocious waters spared him but killed his parents and his fiancé. The survivors of the Indian Ocean tsunami—which killed more than 225,000—will endure the same puzzled agonizing for the rest of their lives, he said.

"I've lived (the 1964 tsunami) two or three times a week since it happened," Clawson said from his current home in Florence, Oregon, just up the coast from Crescent City. "You can't define how it felt, or what you go through when you can't breathe. You have to live that experience to know what it's like."

Clawson said he would never understand why he didn't die. "It probably took me four or five seconds to go through (the tsunami), and it would take me 15 minutes just to tell you everything I thought of while it was happening," he said.

Alaska Cities Devastated

On the afternoon of March 27, 1964, Alaska was shaken by an earthquake even stronger than the recent Indian Ocean quake. Anchorage and other Alaska cities were devastated, and more than a hundred people died. Life magazine reported that the quake unleashed "more than 2,000 times the power of the mightiest nuclear bomb ever detonated and 400 times the total of all nuclear bombs ever exploded."

From its center beneath Prince William Sound, the quake sent a tsunami rippling across the Pacific and down the coasts of Canada and the United States. Crescent City was a sitting duck for these waves, said Dennis Powers, author of The Raging Sea, a book about the 1964 Crescent City tsunami that will be released January 27.

Powers said underwater topography can steer a tsunami toward a particular point along a coast and sometimes increase its power by concentrating its force. Crescent City sits on that kind of shoreline, he said.

"If Crescent City was at a different angle to the ocean, they wouldn't have had that destruction," Powers said. "Crescent City was a magnet for the tsunami."

Bill Parker, who was director of the town's civil defense department in 1964, said officials had been warned that earthquake-generated waves were headed their way. Such warnings were nothing new. Crescent City had had "a lot of watches and evacuations" for tsunamis, Parker said. "They didn't develop into anything," he said.

Still, Parker and others spread the warning. Soon after midnight, the first wave reached Crescent City. It was small and had little effect. But the worst was yet to come.

Clawson was in his family's bar celebrating his father's 54th birthday with his parents, his fiancé, and a few friends when a 21-foot (6.4-meter) wave swept into the harbor. "We were in the tavern when the wall of water came in," he recalled. "It took the building away, probably went back 100 yards [about 100 meters] or so."

Sucked Into a Culvert

Clawson managed to get to a rowboat and get survivors into it. But when the deadly wave receded, it sucked the occupants into a large culvert. Somehow, Clawson survived, but his parents and fiancé didn't.

Dawn's light revealed stupefying destruction. Crescent City's business district was gone, and fuel tanks near the harbor were afire. Automobiles, debris, and the ruins of buildings were piled in seaweed-covered heaps. "When daylight came, we were just dumbfounded," Parker said. "We couldn't believe what we were seeing.

Crescent City is the only town in the continental United States where people have been killed by a tsunami. Reminders of the tragedy are abundant in the town, and residents take tsunami warnings very seriously.

Tom Sokowloski, a retired physicist who worked at federal tsunami warning centers in Alaska and Hawaii, said coastal residents everywhere would be wise to follow Crescent City's example, because it could happen again.

"It behooves you to learn how to protect yourself," Sokowloski said. "No warning center can help you if you're right next to the source (of the tsunami)."

The only way to escape a tsunami is to head to higher ground the moment you hear the warning, Sokowloski said.

And the threat of a tsunami isn't limited to the Pacific coast. Some scientists are concerned that a region of instability beneath the Caribbean Sea could cause a deadly tsunami along the East Coast from Miami to Washington, D.C.

There's also the possibility that the eruption of an obscure volcano in the Canary Islands off the coast of Africa could send giant tsunami waves surging ashore from New York to Florida, as well as southern Britain.

A slab of rock about 35 miles (56 kilometers) long on the western slope of the volcano Cumbre Vieja is cracking. Scientists think an eruption could shear the slab away from the mountain, drop it into the sea, and send gigantic waves rolling across the Atlantic Ocean. About nine hours later, these waves—some of them 80 feet (24 meters) high—could strike the U.S. East Coast.

The volcano's most recent eruptions were in 1949 and 1971. Some scientists say the next eruption could cause the cataclysmic tsunami, while others say such an event isn't likely for hundreds of years, if at all.

Sokolowski thinks coastal residents everywhere need to be clearly warned of the dangers of tsunamis. And the warnings need to be systematic and continual to make sure new residents are aware of the danger, he said.

"One of the most effective things in a tsunami warning system is the education of the public to do what they have to do," he said. "It's really important for experts to come in again and again and to go into the schools. Otherwise, the danger is forgotten."

-------------------------------

Reyn
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Mar, 2011 10:18 am
@Butrflynet,
Butrflynet wrote:
[...] On the afternoon of March 27, 1964, Alaska was shaken by an earthquake [...]

Yeah, I remember that one, for sure! At the time, I was living in S.E. British Columbia, and even the level of lakes there were affected! Amazing, this far inland!
Butrflynet
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Mar, 2011 10:25 am
@Reyn,
I was 10 year old and I still remember it like it was yesterday. Seeing what the quake did to Alaska had me scared for a long time as a kid. I thought that earthquakes would open up the earth and swallow us like it did those in Alaska.

Reyn
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Mar, 2011 10:29 am
@Butrflynet,
Yup, for sure (I was 13)!

So, what's the first thing some folks do in a tsunami warning? Instead of staying away from the water, they:

http://media.thestar.topscms.com/images/87/f1/3b42305442098af5f52cff2597d2.jpeg
With a tsunami warning in effect for Northern California, two men watch the waves at San Francisco's Ocean Beach on Friday, March 11, 2011

http://www.thestar.com/news/world/article/952416--usa-first-waves-from-tsunami-reach-u-s-mainland?bn=1
0 Replies
 
Butrflynet
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Mar, 2011 10:31 am
Good article here:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/12/world/asia/12japan.html?_r=1&smid=fb-nytimes&WT.mc_id=WO-SM-E-FB-SM-LIN-HQH-031111-NYT-NA&WT.mc_ev=click

Slideshow here:

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2011/03/11/world/asia/20110311_japan.html?ref=asia#1
Izzie
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Mar, 2011 10:34 am
@Butrflynet,
oh Butrfly... it's so sad watching the news... can't quite get my head around it... and Libya and ... and ... and...

horribly awful
0 Replies
 
Reyn
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Mar, 2011 10:38 am
@Butrflynet,
Wow, the slideshow was awesome! The pic with 4 planes amongst the cars was a strange sight!


Over here:
While the initial waves of the tsunami may not cause too much concern, it must be remembered that it comes in several waves over many hours.

So, too soon to be relieved yet.
JPB
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Mar, 2011 10:38 am
Live feed from Seal Beach here

http://www.cnn.com/video/flashLive/live.html?stream=stream/4&hpt=T1
0 Replies
 
Reyn
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Mar, 2011 10:43 am
@Reyn,
If any read reports of any news for any Pacific Ocean islands, I'd be interested.

For example:
http://www.wyattsailing.com/Pacific-Ocean-Map.gif

I would be surprised if an island like Guam would suffer no damage.
Butrflynet
 
  2  
Reply Fri 11 Mar, 2011 10:44 am
@Reyn,
CNN weather guy said they were able to track 4 distinct waves that rolled through Hawaii.
Reyn
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Mar, 2011 10:45 am
@Butrflynet,
Local reports here warned to be on alert for the next 4 to 5 hours.
0 Replies
 
Butrflynet
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Mar, 2011 10:47 am
@Reyn,

http://www.pacificnewscenter.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=12303:tsunami-warning-for-guam-pushed-back-to-11-pm&catid=45:guam-news&Itemid=156


Tsunami Warning For Guam Extended Until 11 p.m.

Print

Last Updated on Saturday, 12 March 2011 01:24 Written by Josh Tyquiengco & Kevin Kerrigan Friday, 11 March 2011 21:19

Guam News - Guam News

Guam- A Tsunami Warning is still in effect for Guam and surrounding areas until 11 p.m. tonight. The Pacific Tsunami Center originally expected the arrival time to be 7:09 p.m..

Witnesses are reporting to PNC that water dropped about 2 feet in the Hagatna Marina area around 7:45 p.m. with two small surges through 8:10 p.m..

The CNMI also recorded a 2 foot rise in its water level.

The warning was issued at 4:43 p.m. because a 8.9 earthquake hit 231 miles away from Tokyo, Japan and unleashed a powerful tsunami. According to national news organizations, at least 32 people were killed in the most powerful quake to hit the country in at least 100 years.

PNC has learned 2 Jet Star aircraft from Australia headed to Japan made an emergency landing at the A.B. Won Pat International Airport this evening.

Meanwhile, Governor Eddie Calvo has closed the following roads; Route 2 from Nimitz to Apra Mobil, Route 1 Marine Drive/Sumay to East Agana, Route 3 Camp Watkinds Rd. from Tamuning to Beach side, Route 14 from Hilton to Gun Beach, only emergency vehicles will be allowed on the roads.

Governor Calvo also states, "We have full activation of the island's Emergency Operations Center. Tsunami Warning extended to 11pm by our subject-matter experts from the Federal Agencies - we don't want anyone in low-lying areas until the all clear is given."

All residents and visitors are advised to evacuate low laying areas and proceeds to areas higher than 50ft. above sea level and 100ft inland of coast and mouths of river.

Guam Homeland Security and the Office of Civil Defense are continuing to monitor the situation and are in contact with all stakeholders. Officials are advising all local residents to minimize driving on Guam's roads until the all clear has been given.

Again, All beaches and low-lying areas should be avoided.
Reyn
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Mar, 2011 10:49 am
@Butrflynet,
Laughing Funny, I just did a search on that same article.

Thanks!

Edit:
Quote:
All residents and visitors are advised to evacuate low laying areas and proceeds to areas higher than 50ft. above sea level and 100ft inland of coast and mouths of river
0 Replies
 
Butrflynet
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Mar, 2011 10:57 am
@Reyn,
Following the earthquake registered at a magnitude of 8.9 off the coast of Japan, there have been a number of smaller islands who have felt an impact due to aftershocks and tsunamis. Hawaii is currently bracing for the worst, and another country in danger is the island nation of French Polynesia.

One celebrity trying to provide the best coverage he can of the incident is ABC host Jimmy Kimmel, who was vacationing in the country just as the storm struck...

Kimmel eventually admitted that on a scale of 1 to 10, his level of fear is "a good solid 7. on a small island, with no high ground." He then said that the island was being evacuated, which will hopefully mean that he and others will be safe moving forward.

Stay tuned -- as we are going to try and deliver some different perspectives of what is going on around the Pacific right now following this dire tragedy.

Continue reading on Examiner.com: Jimmy Kimmel narrowly escapes devastation over Pacific tsunamis - National TV | Examiner.com http://www.examiner.com/tv-in-national/jimmy-kimmel-narrowly-escapes-devastation-over-pacific-tsunamis#ixzz1GJL8Lppc
0 Replies
 
Butrflynet
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Mar, 2011 11:03 am
@Reyn,
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703597804576194103285487620.html

Excerpts:

Indonesian officials said that two hours after the first waves of a tsunami arrived in some parts of the Southeast Asian archipelago, initial signs were that the wave has not been too damaging.

Data from ocean monitoring equipment put in place after the Southeast Asian nation lost more than 100,000 of its citizens to a massive tsunami in 2004, so far indicates that the waves triggered by the earthquake in Japan were 10 centimeters high at a northern island of Moluccas and 40 centimeters high off Papua New Guinea.

"It is lower than we predicted," said Mr. Fauzi, the head of Indonesia's Earthquake and Tsunami Center in Jakarta, who goes by only one name. "We are not sure yet if this is maximum wave height, it could take hours to know this for sure."

He said that while no damage has been reported so far, the country is not lowering its tsunami alert and still recommends people stay away from the water.

"We can not say the danger has passed," said Mr. Fauzi. "The threat is still there."
...
It is hard to gauge the likely behavior of a tsunami as its height will depend on the shape of the ocean floor as well as the shape of coastline. It is also very difficult to survey any effects in a sprawling country like Indonesia which is made up of more than 17,000 islands, many of which have limited connection to the outside world, which means it could be some time before a full assessment of any damage is made.

Taiwanese officials, who had previously issued a tsunami warning, said early Friday evening that the waves caused no damage. They had shuttered schools and offices in areas likely to be affected and urged its residents along the coast to take precautions against the incoming waves. But not everyone along the rugged east coast got the message as local television broadcast images of uninformed fisherman and hikers.

...
Alice Shih, a hotel owner on the coast of Hualien, said she left her hotel with her family and pets around 5 p.m. to go up a nearby mountain. "From what we could see … nothing changed, and we also saw five cargo tankers," she said. After an hour she and her family returned to the coast. She added that all reservations for the night had been canceled after the tsunami alerts.

The Philippines so far has suffered only small waves from the tsunami that accompanied the devastating earthquake that ravaged parts of northern Japan Friday, the country's top seismologist said, with no reports of casualties or damage.

Renato Solidum Jr., director of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, said initial reports indicated that parts of the country's Pacific coast were struck by waves ranging from 30 centimeters to one meter in size but so far it appears they have caused no damage. "It's good news," Mr. Solidum said, but added that the agency will continue to monitor the situation as the night drags on.

Chito Castro, deputy chief of the Philippines' National Disaster Coordinating Council's operations center, also said the first waves hitting the coastal provinces of Batanes and Cagayan were about 60 centimeters high. "They're not damaging and they couldn't hurt anybody, but we still have hours left to monitor the situation," Mr. Castro said.

Earlier in the day, disaster response officials carried out large evacuations of coastal provinces facing the Pacific Ocean. Joey Salceda, governor of Albay province southeast of Manila, and his staff instructed residents living on low-lying coastal areas to move to specially-marked evacuation sites at least 5 meters above sea level. Around 90,000 people were moved in Albay alone, with some walking while others crowded onto the back of motorized tricycles or hitched rides on other forms of transport.

View Interactive

The Philippines has long experience dealing with the storm surges that accompany the dozens of typhoons that batter the country each year, and these preventative measures could also help save lives in the event of a tsunami slamming into the country. Filipinos in some parts of the country are also used to evacuating their homes for extended periods of time during frequent bouts of volcanic activity.

Concern in coming hours is likely to focus on smaller Pacific Island nations. A tsunami on the scale of the wave that has smashed into Japan's coast could devastate many of the low-lying islands in the region already under threat from rising ocean levels.

In Fiji, the country's department of seismology said it was monitoring for signs of a tsunami developing but didn't expect a significant threat. Tourism operators in Fiji were also concerned by the possibility of a tsunami hitting the tropical nation. A spokeswoman for the luxury Fiji Beach Resort and Spa said late Friday that no alert has been issued but it was monitoring the situation closely.

In the remote Cook Islands, hotels were also nervous about the possibility of a giant wave hitting the tiny Pacific outpost's shores. Rere Wichman, a member of hotel staff at the Rarotongan Beach Resort & Spa said that guests have been alerted in case of the need to evacuate. "We are just on watch," said Ms. Wichman.

The New Zealand government cautioned that a tsunami, if it happens, could hit areas around on the country's North Island just after 6 a.m. local time Saturday, or about noon Friday East Coast time. New Zealand is still recovering from its own earthquake disaster, which wrecked its second-largest city Christchurch last month.

In Australia, the government said there was no immediate threat of a tsunami hitting the mainland or its territories but cautioned that it was monitoring the situation in the Pacific closely. "It is still too early to know the full extent of the damage but it is clear that this is a significant disaster," the government said.

Butrflynet
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Mar, 2011 11:05 am
@Butrflynet,
I hope that all the employers operating those island sweat shops had the good sense to allow their people to seek safety rather than keeping them locked up in the factories.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Mar, 2011 11:10 am
I'm naturally following what's happening in Humboldt County; the waves are there but not (when I last looked) at the expected highest predicted. PGE (pacific gas and electric) shut down as a precaution, even though it was built higher than the expected wave heights.

local evacuation warnings (all places I know) -
http://www.times-standard.com/ci_17589540?source=most_viewed

overview of Humboldt Bay - (not a photo taken today); Arcata Bay is to the north -
http://www.plan4preschool.org/documents/humboldt-county-humboldt-bay.jpg
0 Replies
 
Ragman
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Mar, 2011 11:12 am
@Butrflynet,
Here are some eye-witeness reports from Weather Channel Weather Blog (official reports included and not just heresay):

"The probability is high for this tsunami to hit Vancouver BC. It is predicted to hit now - at 10:15 am EST

[10:26:33 AM] : The Joint Australian Tsunami Warning Centre said there was no tsunami threat to Australia.

[10:27:55 AM] : According to NHK Japan, More than 4 million buildings in Tokyo and surrounding areas lost power soon after the quake.

[11:34:06 AM]: http://www.weather.com/outlook/weather-news/news/articles/Tsunami-Hits-Hawaii_2011-03-11

[11:34:39 AM] : "Honolulu is being hit right now. Alaska is OK. 5ft waves...so far...and no damage as of yet."

[11:51:46 AM] : "First waves should begin arriving in Crescent City, CA momentarily."

[11:51:58 AM]: " Insigifnicant damage around Pearl Harbor reported by U.S. Navy Officials. "

[11:52:18 AM] : "AP reports: First wave reaches Northern California coast."

[11:52:36 AM]: "Very little impact of tsunami in Alaska"

[11:52:52 AM] : TWCBreaking: Alaska Tsunami Warning Center: "Impacts of Tsunami could be higher in Washington State than they were in Alaska."

[11:53:31 AM] : "Crescent City, CA Fire Dept: Several thousand people were evacuated."

[11:54:19 AM] : "Estimated arrival time for San Francisco, CA: 2:08 EST

[11:55:52 AM] As of 11:30 EST: Tsunami arriving in Southern California right now and threat will continue for several hours."

[11:56:43 AM] : "Some of the West Coast tsunami reports....Charleston, OR: 1.6ft, Crescent City, Calif. 3.7ft, Arena Cove, Calif. 2.7 ft."
******************************************************************
The reports are of the highest waves so far are 3-6 ft...but hours to go before the danger ends.

*************************************************************
Reports by Associated Press , on Mar 11, 2011 10:58 am ET
Updated 11 a.m. EST

HONOLULU (AP) -- The first waves from a tsunami caused by a Japanese earthquake have reached the U.S. mainland along the Oregon coast.

Geophysicist Gerard Fryer at the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Honolulu says high water reached Port Orford, Ore., around 7:30 a.m.PST Friday.

Officials along the coast activated warning sirens hours earlier to alert people to leave low-lying areas.

The National Weather Service says some of the biggest waves of between 6 and 7 feet were expected to hit near Crescent City, Calif.

People in coastal of Oregon, California and Washington evacuated ahead of the waves Friday.

In Alaska, the tsunami caused a wave just over 5 feet at Shemya in the Aleutian Islands 1,200 miles southwest of Anchorage.

In Hawaii, tsunami waves swamped beaches before dawn Friday but didn't cause any major damage. Kauai was the first of the Hawaiian islands hit by the tsunami, which was caused by an earthquake in Japan, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said. Water rushed ashore in Honolulu, swamping the beach in Waikiki and surging over a break wall in the world-famous resort but stopping short of the area's high-rise hotels.

Waves about 7 feet high were recorded on Maui, and 3 feet in Oahu and Kauai. Officials warned that the waves would continue and could become larger, and a scientist at the tsunami warning center said there was likely damage to mooring facilities and piers.

"We called this right. This evacuation was necessary," said geophysicist Gerard Fryer in Hawaii. "There's absolutely no question,this was the right thing to do."

0 Replies
 
Butrflynet
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Mar, 2011 11:17 am
Here's a link to Google's crisis response site for anyone needing info on specific people or areas:

http://www.google.com/crisisresponse/japanquake2011.html
 

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