Tsunami Warning CANCELLED

OK, you can go back to lower ground now. The warning has been canceled.

From the BBC:

A tsunami warning has been issued for 11 nations in the south-west Pacific, including Papua New Guinea, after a 7.8-magnitude earthquake off Vanuatu.

The epicentre was 295km (180 miles) north-northwest of Vanuatu’s largest island, Santo, at a depth of 35km (21.7 miles), the US Geological Survey said.

Here is the USGS data for the earthquake:

i-21b2d43f54b807eb43e4585a263efc0e-earthquake_locatoin_vanatu.jpg

Magnitude 7.8
Date-Time
Location 13.052°S, 166.187°E
Depth 35 km (21.7 miles) set by location program
Region VANUATU
Distances 260 km (160 miles) S of Lata, Santa Cruz Islands, Solomon Isl.
295 km (180 miles) NNW of Luganville, Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu
785 km (490 miles) ESE of HONIARA, Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands
2100 km (1310 miles) NE of BRISBANE, Queensland, Australia
Location Uncertainty horizontal +/- 7.6 km (4.7 miles); depth fixed by location program
Parameters NST=169, Nph=169, Dmin=>999 km, Rmss=1.32 sec, Gp= 50°,
M-type=teleseismic moment magnitude (Mw), Version=6
Source
  • USGS NEIC (WDCS-D)
Event ID us2009mlcf

The Pacific Warning from NOAA:

TSUNAMI BULLETIN NUMBER 001 PACIFIC TSUNAMI WARNING CENTER/NOAA/NWS ISSUED AT 2217Z 07 OCT 2009

THIS BULLETIN APPLIES TO AREAS WITHIN AND BORDERING THE PACIFIC OCEAN AND ADJACENT SEAS…EXCEPT ALASKA…BRITISH COLUMBIA… WASHINGTON…OREGON AND CALIFORNIA.

… A TSUNAMI WARNING AND WATCH ARE IN EFFECT …

A TSUNAMI WARNING IS IN EFFECT FOR

VANUATU / SOLOMON IS. / NAURU / PAPUA NEW GUINEA / TUVALU / NEW CALEDONIA / FIJI / KIRIBATI / KOSRAE / WALLIS-FUTUNA / HOWLAND-BAKER

A TSUNAMI WATCH IS IN EFFECT FOR

MARSHALL IS. / TOKELAU / KERMADEC IS / POHNPEI / NEW ZEALAND / SAMOA / AMERICAN SAMOA / TONGA / AUSTRALIA / NIUE / COOK ISLANDS / CHUUK / INDONESIA / WAKE IS. / JARVIS IS. / PALMYRA IS. / GUAM / N. MARIANAS / JOHNSTON IS. / YAP / MARCUS IS. / BELAU

FOR ALL OTHER AREAS COVERED BY THIS BULLETIN… IT IS FOR INFORMATION ONLY AT THIS TIME.

THIS BULLETIN IS ISSUED AS ADVICE TO GOVERNMENT AGENCIES. ONLY NATIONAL AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT AGENCIES HAVE THE AUTHORITY TO MAKE DECISIONS REGARDING THE OFFICIAL STATE OF ALERT IN THEIR AREA AND ANY ACTIONS TO BE TAKEN IN RESPONSE.

AN EARTHQUAKE HAS OCCURRED WITH THESE PRELIMINARY PARAMETERS

ORIGIN TIME – 2203Z 07 OCT 2009 COORDINATES – 13.0 SOUTH 166.3 EAST DEPTH – 33 KM LOCATION – VANUATU ISLANDS MAGNITUDE – 8.0

EVALUATION

IT IS NOT KNOWN THAT A TSUNAMI WAS GENERATED. THIS WARNING IS BASED ONLY ON THE EARTHQUAKE EVALUATION. AN EARTHQUAKE OF THIS SIZE HAS THE POTENTIAL TO GENERATE A DESTRUCTIVE TSUNAMI THAT CAN STRIKE COASTLINES NEAR THE EPICENTER WITHIN MINUTES AND MORE DISTANT COASTLINES WITHIN HOURS. AUTHORITIES SHOULD TAKE APPROPRIATE ACTION IN RESPONSE TO THIS POSSIBILITY. THIS CENTER WILL MONITOR SEA LEVEL DATA FROM GAUGES NEAR THE EARTHQUAKE TO DETERMINE IF A TSUNAMI WAS GENERATED AND ESTIMATE THE SEVERITY OF THE THREAT.

ESTIMATED INITIAL TSUNAMI WAVE ARRIVAL TIMES AT FORECAST POINTS WITHIN THE WARNING AND WATCH AREAS ARE GIVEN BELOW. ACTUAL ARRIVAL TIMES MAY DIFFER AND THE INITIAL WAVE MAY NOT BE THE LARGEST. A TSUNAMI IS A SERIES OF WAVES AND THE TIME BETWEEN SUCCESSIVE WAVES CAN BE FIVE MINUTES TO ONE HOUR.

i-035114bf29aef4ff064a277ef8f91989-tsunami_arrival_times_if_there_is_a_tsunami_which_maybe_there_isnt.jpg

The web site for the NOAA tsunami warning center is not operating or is under such heavy use as to be useless. Obviously, there is a need for an upgrade in that technology.

The current tsunami warning, in effect now for Hawaii, is as follows:

TSUNAMI MESSAGE NUMBER 1
NWS PACIFIC TSUNAMI WARNING CENTER EWA BEACH HI
1218 PM HST WED OCT 07 2009

TO – CIVIL DEFENSE IN THE STATE OF HAWAII

SUBJECT – TSUNAMI ADVISORY

A TSUNAMI ADVISORY IS ISSUED FOR THE STATE OF HAWAII EFFECTIVE
AT 1217 PM HST.

AN EARTHQUAKE HAS OCCURRED WITH THESE PRELIMINARY PARAMETERS

ORIGIN TIME – 1203 PM HST 07 OCT 2009
COORDINATES – 13.0 SOUTH 166.3 EAST
LOCATION – VANUATU ISLANDS
MAGNITUDE – 8.0 MOMENT

EVALUATION

THE PACIFIC TSUNAMI WARNING CENTER HAS ISSUED AN EXPANDING REGIONAL TSUNAMI WARNING AND WATCH FOR PARTS OF THE PACIFIC
LOCATED CLOSER TO THE EARTHQUAKE. AN EVALUATION OF THE PACIFIC WIDE TSUNAMI THREAT IS UNDERWAY AND THERE IS A POSSIBILITY THAT HAWAII COULD BE ELEVATED TO A WATCH OR WARNING STATUS.

IF TSUNAMI WAVES IMPACT HAWAII THEIR ESTIMATED EARLIEST ARRIVAL TIME IS

0650 PM HST WED 07 OCT 2009

MESSAGES WILL BE ISSUED HOURLY OR SOONER AS CONDITIONS WARRANT.

Comments

  1. #1 Greg Laden
    October 7, 2009

    Add this: It is more than a little annoing that the International Tsunami Information Centre of UNESCO site can’t handle the current traffice and provides absolutely no useful information, but it does pop up advertisements if you click on it. Does the UN really sell adds on this site, or has the site been hacked?

    http://ioc3.unesco.org/itic/

  2. #2 cfeagans
    October 7, 2009

    Likewise the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center. I saw a tweet that said they canceled the tsunami warning for all of the Pacific but the site appears flooded.

    I was going to post the link here, but I think I’d rather not in the event that it affects those that need the information from getting it.

  3. #3 Greg Laden
    October 7, 2009

    So what we have here is a big earthquake, a bunch of tsunami warnings (well, from two sources, PTWC and NOAA) and now the only actual piece of new information is a tweet saying it’s OK to go back to lower ground …

    I recommend getting verification first!

  4. #4 cfeagans
    October 7, 2009

    Here’s the Twitter trend link though: http://twitter.com/#search?q=Tsunami

    It’s amazing if you think about it: just 10 years ago, this would have *possibly* carried on same-day news; 20 years ago, we would have been lucky to hear about it the second day.

    But with Twitter, people are communicating at light speed and ideas or information can be spread in real time.

  5. #5 Greg Laden
    October 7, 2009

    Yup, now BBC is also saying it is canceled.

  6. #6 Tom Krawford
    October 7, 2009

    Sounds a lot like some kind of self sufficient international disaster preparedness effort. It could be a good idea, especially if the global climate continues to become more and more erratic in the coming years.

    Here’s hoping Copenhagen wasn’t a waste of time and more and more nations, including ours, officially gets on the same page before it ceases to matter.

    Tom K.

  7. #7 Vince Whirlwind
    October 7, 2009

    When I last looked at the Vanuatu tidal gauges over an hour ago, the strongest affected of them had recorded no more than a 10cm surge.

    A bit worried that the warning goes out before they’ve figured out whether any water has been displaced – we could end up in a “crying wolf” scenario which renders the whole tsunami-warning system ineffective.

  8. #8 JeanMarie Williams
    October 8, 2009

    Yes its always confusing when we get a Warning then a cancellation a few minutes later
    But thanks to those who maintain watch to let us know, in the Atolls, what really is going on.
    Even the Atoll of Takapoto in French Polynesia got swamped yesterday morning

    Thank you

  9. #9 Mark
    October 10, 2009

    Realistic that Tsunami’s could cross thousands of miles and oceans that are thousands of metres deep?

    NZ Oceanographers seem to thing that our biggest threat for Tsunami’s comes from Chile.

    To me this just seems ridiculous, and that there is no conceivable way that a wall of water could travel 8000 km across 8 km deep oceans, surely it would dissapate its energies in this great mass of ocean well before it got even half way.

  10. #10 Greg Laden
    October 11, 2009

    Mark: Actually, you’ve got it backwards. The wave passing across thousands of miles of deep ocean is not slowed down or diminished by much. It is also not a tall upright wave that you imagine. The wave is shallow and long. Then, when it gets into shallow water it deepens and shortens, standing up more. The big arching wave crashing down on the shore thing, if it happens at all, happens at the shore. And there, of course, its energy is dissipating.

    Scientists have this figured out. They pretty much know what they are talking about.

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