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Disaster Preparedness News
Tsunami Could Reach Mainland America, May Have Come Close Already
While the world watched the devastating natural disaster that was the December 2004 Southeast Asian tsunami unfold, Sri Lankans had to live and deal with the fall out. Accounts of the event seem to ring strong with the notion that everything unfolded very suddenly. Images captured on home videos by visiting tourist show what appear to be relative calm abruptly turned in to chaos. The images are consistent in the power and magnitude of the waves crashing into buildings, sweeping up people and objects, and demoralizing nearly everything in their paths. The effects were undeniably catastrophic. According to adb.org over 35,000 people died and over 400,000 were displaced. Add this to the billions in property damage and it seems obvious that the true value of the destruction can never be accurately calculated.
While we sympathized with the Asian nation peoples that lived through the trauma, few of us could imagine such images occurring in America. That was until Hurricane Katrina delivered similarly distressing images in one of America’s most celebrated cities, New Orleans. Several reports suggest that America should be prepared for more than terrorism and hurricanes.
In November 2006 a tsunami “hit Hawaii about six hours after a magnitude 8.1 earthquake struck north of Japan”. While many may wave this event off as a consequence of the island state’s proximity to Asia, “A surge along California’s northern coast destroyed two docks in Crescent City Harbor and damaged a third” . Certainly there is cause for concern.
Could the disaster in Asia actually occur here in the United States. According to researchers at Oregon State, the answer is yes. “The type of devastating tsunami that struck the southern coast of Asia is entirely possible in the Pacific Northwest of the United States” . The study was conducted by Oregon State University which is home to “one of the world’s leading research facilities to study tsunamis and understand their behavior” .
Add tsunami to the long list of natural disasters Americans must include in their emergency preparedness plans. The death and devastation of any natural calamity can certainly be reduced with proper planning. Emergency preparedness in the United States should include preparation for an earthquake -triggered tsunami. Emergency food, water, and rechargeable emergency lights are but some of the emergency supplies one might need to keep in their disaster preparedness kit. While we can’t control our environment, preparing for a natural disaster is something we can do.
By Casey Kozoll
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