Thursday, October 01, 2009

A tsunami of lessons to learn: Update

Early calculations suggest that the rupture was around 200-300km long and that the plates moved around 4-7m.

Scientists expect an event of this magnitude to occur around once or twice a year.

If you live adjacent to a 10,000m deep trench in an active earthquake zone and feel an earthquake, you do not wait to see if the tide is going out.

Taking steps, large steps, towards higher ground is the only option as waiting two minutes for the quake to finish has already probably used 20% of your available evacuation time.

Waiting for an 'official warning' is too long when you have less than ten minutes before the first tsunami wave strikes at 400mph or faster.

Still people never learn, even when they have plenty of warning.


Caritas said it was ironic that last week Caritas staff were in Samoa for an exercise involving a tsunami hitting the south coast.

Caritas New Zealand director Michael Smith said his Samoan colleagues had also run workshops on disaster risk reduction and emergency preparedness.

Obviously a worthwhile exercise.

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