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Monday, April 30, 2012

Giant Tsunami Preparations

Caribbean nations warned to prepare for ‘giant’ tsunami

by The Extinction Protocol
April 30, 2012 – CARIBBEAN - A leading expert at the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) is urging the Caribbean's 40 million people to be prepared for a tsunami, two years ahead of a planned early warning system for the region. Watson-Wright, assistant director-general and executive secretary of the UNESCO-Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission, has agreed with other leading tsunami experts that it is a case of “when, not if” the region would be struck by the giant waves triggered by earthquakes and volcanic activity, Watson-Wright noted. “Lurking beneath the azure waters that wash up on countless coastal and island beaches and vacation spots is the potential for a devastating tsunami,” she said. In addition to the 40 million people living in the region, she said 22 million people visit the Caribbean annually, making the region “extremely vulnerable to the impacts of tsunamis.” 
Since 1498 there have been at least 94 tsunamis with run-ups reported in the Caribbean region, causing 4,652 deaths, Watson-Wright said. She said most of these tsunamis were associated with underwater, or what are called submarine earthquakes, although the Caribbean Sea region has all of the potential tsunami-generating sources, such as submarine earthquakes, sub-aerial or submarine landslides and volcano activity. Scientists and disaster management officials have said that models predict a tsunami wiping out vast areas in several island nations where most people live in around capitals and low-lying coastal areas. 
“Sound science-based tsunami inundation modeling has been performed for all of Puerto Rico and several localities in the French Antilles and Venezuela, which demonstrates real tsunami threats for this region,” the UNESCO expert said. –Jamaica Observer


In an article in Eos, the newspaper of the American Geophysical Union, scientists Nancy Grindlay and Meghan Hearne of the University of North Carolina, Wilmington, and Paul Mann of the University of Texas, Austin said ten destructive tsunamis have been generated in the past 500 years by undersea earth movements along the boundary between the Caribbean and the North American tectonic plates - two of the great, moving slabs of rock that cover the ocean floor.

According to their calculations, that's an average of one significant tsunami every 50 years. The most recent occurred in 1946 - sixty years ago - when a magnitude 8.1 earthquake in the Dominican Republican triggered a giant wave that killed 1,800 people.

The scientists said the dates imply that another tsunami is already overdue, but added they can't predict when it might happen.

An earthquake in that northern part of the Caribbean could generate waves up to 40 feet high and threaten the lives of up to 35.5 million people living in coastal areas. Smaller waves could reach Florida, the Gulf of Mexico and as far north as New Jersey.


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