Two Years After The Tohoku, Japan, Earthquake and Tsunami Comes Tsunami Preparedness Week, March 24 to 30, And A USGS Study

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By Jeff Perlah | March 29, 2013 3:37 PM EST

About two years have passed since a devastating earthquake and subsequent tsunami off the coast of Tohoku, Japan, caused massive loss of life and property. Since then, efforts to become more prepared for quakes and tsunamis have been ongoing in many countries. In the U.S., the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, along with state and federal agencies are partnering for Tsunami Preparedness Week from March 24 to 30. During the week, the NOAA encourages communities to become Tsunami ready.

Many would say that California is that state that needs a whole lot of tsunami prep. Only Alaska beats California as the state most likely to experience an earthquake, according to the United States Geological Survey. But for more than a quarter of a million people living in California’s coastal regions, the quake itself certainly wouldn’t be the only problem to worry about. Massive flooding from a huge tsunami could be a major part of the destruction, according to a new USGS study entitled “Community Exposure to Tsunami Hazards in California.”

The study reveals that tidal waves of eight meters (26 feet) or more could slam into northern California following an 8 magnitude earthquake, reports Agence France-Presse in The Raw Story. It provides first responders, emergency planners and other stakeholders with much-needed information about the people who live in, work in and visit tsunami hazard areas in 20 counties and 94  cities along California’s coast, the USGS’s website explains. 

“The tragic loss of life and property damage associated with recent catastrophic tsunamis has raised global awareness of tsunami hazards, hazards,” the study says, mentioning gigantic tsunamis in the Indian Ocean in 2004, off Somoa in 2009 Somoa and the one that occurred off Japan two years ago.

Recent preparedness efforts, according to the USGS’s website, have included testing a tsunami warning communications system, participation in table-top exercises and public education forums, and the development of educational materials.

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