Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New Tsunami Education Web Site Developed by Oceanographers

23.11.2009
Scientists and Web developers at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) have created a new educational Web site with crucial tips on how to prepare for and survive a tsunami. Tagged as “an interactive guide that could save your life,” the site also features the latest tsunami-related science research and compelling tsunami survivor videos and interviews.

“Tsunamis can neither be prevented nor precisely predicted yet,” says site initiator Dr. Jian Lin, a WHOI geologist actively involved in tsunami research and a member of a U.S. national committee on tsunami warning and preparedness. “But people educated about tsunami warning signs can save their own lives and the lives of others.”

Tsunami is the Japanese word for “harbor wave,” and is the term used when giant undersea earthquakes, landslides or volcanic eruptions generate a sudden motion of ocean water that results in a series of large waves. In the open ocean, these waves can travel as fast as 500 miles per hour — the same speed as a jet plane. They slow and grow in height as the waves near the coast; a tsunami can quickly engulf vulnerable coastal regions resulting in widespread destruction and death.

The 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, in which 240,000 lives were lost, serves as a reminder of how devastating these events can be. While tsunamis are not particularly rare — 25 noticeable ones have occurred in the last century in the Pacific Ocean, Indian Ocean, Caribbean, and Mediterranean — they are rare enough to escape the collective consciousness, so that people do not recognize them or know what to do when they occur.

“Despite the tremendous loss of life that tsunamis cause,” says Lin, “until now, the public worldwide — including school kids — had a hard time finding user-friendly and interactive Web sites to educate them on what tsunamis are, the warning signs of an approaching tsunami, and what to do if they see a warning sign.”

In September 2009 more than 180 people were killed by the Samoa tsunami. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Hawaii issued a warning 15 minutes after a powerful undersea earthquake, but most people of the Samoan Islands did not receive the warning before the waves hit.

“Some lives could definitely have been saved if everyone living on or visiting the Samoan Islands knew to run to the high ground when they first felt ground shaking or saw the ocean behaving strangely,” says Lin.

The new Web site, http://www.whoi.edu/home/interactive/tsunami/, is intended to be a resource for both residents and visitors to coastal zones of the U.S. and the rest of the world, as well as an educational tool for students from the middle-school level and up.

Using interactive graphics and animations, the site covers how to prepare for a tsunami, how to respond should you see one approach, and what to do in the aftermath. It includes stories from survivors of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, amateur video, and even includes a sound file of the undersea earthquake that caused the 2004 tsunami. The site also explores the research and technology currently being used to study and watch for tsunamis and includes video interviews with scientists describing their work.

“This site is an invaluable source for educating the public and providing outreach to at-risk coastal communities,” says Dwayne Meadows of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Meadows, who shares his own tale of survival from the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami on the site, serves as NOAA's first environmental hazards representative on the new U.S. government Civilian Response Corps.

“We’ve taken the lessons learned from the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami and applied that to the study of other earthquakes and tsunamis,” adds Lin. “Scientists are making progress. But public education is still the most important means to saving lives.”

This project received funding from the WHOI Coastal Ocean Institute.

The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution is a private, independent organization in Falmouth, Mass., dedicated to marine research, engineering, and higher education. Established in 1930 on a recommendation from the National Academy of Sciences, its primary mission is to understand the oceans and their interaction with the Earth as a whole, and to communicate a basic understanding of the oceans’ role in the changing global environment.

Media Relations Office | Newswise Science News
Further information:
http://www.whoi.edu

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht Mountain glaciers shrinking across the West
23.10.2017 | University of Washington

nachricht Climate change weakens Walker circulation
20.10.2017 | MARUM - Zentrum für Marine Umweltwissenschaften an der Universität Bremen

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Salmonella as a tumour medication

HZI researchers developed a bacterial strain that can be used in cancer therapy

Salmonellae are dangerous pathogens that enter the body via contaminated food and can cause severe infections. But these bacteria are also known to target...

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

3rd Symposium on Driving Simulation

23.10.2017 | Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Microfluidics probe 'cholesterol' of the oil industry

23.10.2017 | Life Sciences

Gamma rays will reach beyond the limits of light

23.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

The end of pneumonia? New vaccine offers hope

23.10.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>