Earthquake in Japan - Tsunami warning for west coast?

Discussion in 'General Paddling Discussions' started by smeyn, Mar 11, 2011.

  1. smeyn

    smeyn Paddler

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    Just got home to hear about the major 8.8 earthquake off the Japanese mainland. Major tsunamis there. I hope you guys won't get affected.
     
  2. WaterMark

    WaterMark Paddler

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    CNN said there's a tsunami warning from Oregon to Alaska.

    CBC says there's a tsunami warning for the entire Pacific basin, except Canada and mainland US.

    I guess an accurate report will get sorted out over the next couple hours. The tsunami would take 24 hrs to arrive here.
     
  3. smeyn

    smeyn Paddler

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    I'm following live BBC coverage. It's the biggest earthquake in Japan's recorded history and the 7th biggest worldwide according to USGS. The video coverage of the tsunami is frankly scary.

    I just checked the NOAA Tsunami warning center, it's listing Hawaii and all the islands but nothing on the US or Canada westcoast. Southamerica strangely is included.
    http://www.weather.gov/ptwc/
     
  4. WaterMark

    WaterMark Paddler

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    update:

    A tsumani warning has just been issued for the entire west coast of US and Canada. In BC they expect it to be 1 m to 1.5 m.

    Contrary to earlier reports, they now say it will hit in a few hours, around 6 am, and last for up to 4 hours.

    People are warned to stay away from the waterfront.
     
  5. WaterMark

    WaterMark Paddler

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    Smeyn, I agree about the video images. Especially the flowing mud filled with cars, buildings and flaming debris. (!!!)
     
  6. WaterMark

    WaterMark Paddler

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    Here's an update from the Vancouver Sun:

    As of 1:50 a.m. B.C.'s coast remained on a Tsunami advisory. According to West Coast and Alaska Tsunami Information, this means a potential tsunami may produce strong currents or waves dangerous to those in or near the water. People are advised to stay away from the shorelines.

    Local officials may choose to close beaches, evacuate harbours and marinas or reposition ships to deep waters when there is time to safely do so.

    ====

    VANCOUVER — The West Coast Alaska Warning Centre issued a tsunami watch for parts of British Columbia Friday in the wake of the 8.9-magnitude earthquake that rocked Japan.

    Affected areas included the North Coast and Haidi Gwaii Islands, the Central Coast including Bella Bella, Bella Coola and Shearwater, and the outer west coast of Vancouver Island from Cape Scott to Port Renfrew.

    “What this means is local governments in those zones are advised to activate their emergency plans and stand by for further information,” said Glen Plummer, spokesman for the B.C. Provincial Emergency Program. “As more information becomes available, the provincial emergency coordination centre will provide further updates.

    No other areas of coastal British Columbia are at risk.



    Read more: http://www.vancouversun.com/news/Parts+ ... z1GHld08PZ
     
  7. smeyn

    smeyn Paddler

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  8. AM

    AM Paddler

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    I just listened to CG marine forecast and they were issuing a PAN PAN warning about the tsunami. Nothing on the weatheroffice.gc.ca site, however.
     
  9. ken_vandeburgt

    ken_vandeburgt Paddler

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  10. DarrenM

    DarrenM Paddler

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    Just watching live cnn coverage off the coast of Marina Del Ray, They just showed some idiot in a kayak..... Ahhh Darwin. :roll:
     
  11. WaterMark

    WaterMark Paddler

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    Globe and Mail:

    The risk to British Columbia as a result of the earthquake in Japan appears to be easing as a spokesman for the provincial emergency program said waves were minimal, though a tsunami advisory remains in effect.

    “No damage has been reported in areas where the waves are coming in. Wave sizes are small and under a metre,” Glen Plummer said Friday.

    http://wcatwc.arh.noaa.gov/2011/03/11/l ... pd9-04.jpg
     
  12. Rrdstarr

    Rrdstarr Paddler

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    We left Honolulu Monday evening at 10:30. Glad we weren't there for the Hawaiian earthquake of 4.6 or the 7' waves from the Japanese tsunami!!!
     
  13. VanIslePaddler

    VanIslePaddler Paddler

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    It was a very interesting day here in Tofino.

    You could feel the energy in the community. Pretty much every person in town had their phones ringing throughout the night. I migrated from my house at 6:30 this morning (I live in fairly low ground near the beach), to high ground and had an early morning coffee with friends.

    Realistically, this type of far-off tsunami tends to have less effect in "open" coastal locations such as Tofino. Ironically, Port Alberni, nestled 80 km up an inlet away from the west coast (closer to the east coast than the west coast!), generally sees much larger tsunami heights. The steep sides of the glacially carved inlets, the energy of a tsunami does not disapate, but amplifies, spilling out in Port Alberni. Port Alberni saw a 1 metre wave today.

    Cheers,
     
  14. WGalbraith

    WGalbraith Paddler

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    I met a fellow yesterday with quite a tale from Hawaii. His son was staying/ working at a resort there this past week and was told to sail out of the marina to deep water and ride out the tsunami. He and a partner took the catamaran offshore with several other boaters following their lead. When they returned after the all clear, the beach was strewn with dozens of boats that had not fared well when the swell came ashore.

    The online videos are terrifying examples of how insignificant we can be in the face of such forces.
     
  15. VanIslePaddler

    VanIslePaddler Paddler

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    It raises the perennial question of what should a kayaker do in these cases.

    Fact: When a significant mega-thrust earthquake occurs here on the Pacific North West (such as what just happened in Japan), a Tsunami event will most likely occur within 10-30 minutes.

    So. What would you do?

    As kayakers, we often are camping and traveling in offshore areas, with low-lying islands.

    Considering our cruising speed, where would you go?

    At only 3knots paddling speed, you could travel approx 1nm before the tsunami arrived...
    - If you were camping on an EXTREME west coast beach, with no islands or reefs between you and open ocean, perhaps paddling offshore would be an option... this also assumes you are already in your boat ready to go.
    - If you are paddling, but not close to open coast, head immediately to the closest land with significant elevation... consider time line of 15minutes... get to land NOW!!! Abandon the boat, swim and scramble up a rocky shoreline if needed.
    - If you were camping on a low-lying offshore island: climb a tree (get as high as you can) Choose a sturdy tree, in the midst of a grove of trees, preferably on the leeward side of the island. (You would not have enough time to get in your boat and travel anywhere significantly)
    - If you are camping on an island with significant elevation, climb the hill/mountain.

    Remember that coastal areas even far from open ocean may experience inundation.

    Perhaps grab your lifejacket. If you are swept up in the tsunami... it may marginally increase your chances of survival (provided the debris flow, cold water, and currents don't get you).

    VHF Broadcasts will alert individuals of incoming remote tsunami risks (such as the alert from this event in Japan)


    ****

    A dear friend of mine, was swept up in the Boxing Day Tsunami of 2004, in Phuket Thailand. She was swept out to sea, and spent 12 hours floating several miles away from land in nothing but her bikini. (warm water) She survived, after being picked up by a boat.
     
  16. smeyn

    smeyn Paddler

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    So it seems to follow then that one should go kayaking where the water is warm. :D

    But seriously seeing that 10 m breaking wave coming in, I'd wonder if you could go out far enough in time to be in sufficiently deep water.
     
  17. smeyn

    smeyn Paddler

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    That showed up on the BBC web site. How long do you think it would take to create a new set of accurate maps for a coastline that's several 100 km long?
     
  18. Doug_Lloyd

    Doug_Lloyd Paddler

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    Waves: fun and frightening; daunting and devastating; awesome and apocalyptic.
     

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  19. Mark_Schilling

    Mark_Schilling Paddler

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    It seems to me, after seeing a few video clips of the tsunami in Japan, that if you were out paddling while it hit, your primary danger would not be the turbulence of the water itself so much as the other things being swept away and tossed around. I think many of us, when we think of a tsunami, envision this massive breaking wave, where-as in this case it was really just more of a massive surge of water - almost like watching the bay of fundy back east. Presumably the characteristics of the wave itself has a lot to do with how quickly the depth of the coastline changes and other factors, since in deep water there is really no evidence of a tsunami on the surface - it's just a pressure wave in the water, so if you were on a boat in deep water you probably would have no idea that the tsunami even passed you.
     
  20. ken_vandeburgt

    ken_vandeburgt Paddler

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    This photo is from the 1964 tsunami.



    http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2006/s2598.htm

    High ground. All you need is 10 meters (30 feet) if the quake is local. Most campsites have that much elevation nearby. For Japan and Alaska quakes waves on our shore were not more than 2 meters in most places. Its pretty rare to have a campsite without land 6 feet above high tide. If you have time you will likely be able to get high enough.

    As has been pointed out runup is much higher at the head of inlets than on the exposed coast. When Campbell River had a quake in 1946 there was a two meter run up at Vancouver airport. One of the inlets had a 6 meter run up.

    Knowledge will help you deal with the crisis if a Tsunami warning comes up during your paddling trip. So spend some time studying.
     

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