In FL, you often hear “we would rather live in Hurricane country because we get more notice than in Earthquake or Tornado country”
What about living in Tsunami country? See chart below on Hawaii’s vulnerability and how much notice they get. Click on image to enlarge.
The NOAA tsunameters at the floor of the Pacific, the DART (Deep ocean Assessment & Reporting of Tsunamis) buoys on the ocean surface and the Iridium satellites they talk to all get hyperactive when there is a major earthquake like the 7.7 magnitude one in the Queen Charlotte Islands Region last evening.
I reviewed the tsunami advisory and warning traffic. The warning went out at 7.09 pm HST. Estimated arrival of the first Tsunami wave was 10. 28 pm. So about 3 hours to evacuate. The earthquake had taken place two hours earlier but the initial assessment was
BASED ON ALL AVAILABLE DATA A DESTRUCTIVE PACIFIC-WIDE TSUNAMI IS NOT EXPECTED AND THERE IS NO TSUNAMI THREAT TO HAWAII. REPEAT. A DESTRUCTIVE PACIFIC-WIDE TSUNAMI IS NOT EXPECTED AND THERE IS NO TSUNAMI THREAT TO HAWAII.
Saturday night 7 pm. Most Hawaiian beachside hotels are starting their luaus and other weekend entertainment. Many tourists are on their sunset cruises. This weekend, the annual Hallowbaloo festival, was in full swing. Sirens blared for residents to seek higher ground. Hotel guests are luckier in some ways as many hotels have vertical evacuation plans. Arriving planes were delayed or diverted. Ships at port and at sea had their own emergency plans. In the darkness at sea, helicopters and planes with floodlights were monitoring the fury of arriving waves. No wonder there was chaos in Paradise till the warning was downgraded at 1.01 am. And then the chaos of the reverse traffic began.
Some will argue the warning should have gone out 2 hours prior. Living in FL and seeing how panicky (and expensive for civil services and residents) evacuations can be, I would rather have fewer “false positives”. NOAA and other technology is increasingly making it so.