These days, meteorologists at the National Weather Service near Tampa are on the lookout for more than just severe weather. That’s thanks to a new tsunami-awareness program in place for the Atlantic Ocean. Although unlikely, tsunamis have struck Florida in the past… most recently in 1755 – when an earthquake in Portugal resulted in 10 to 13 foot waves on Florida’s east coast. The event killed about a hundred people. December’s tragic tsunami in southern Asia prompted this new Atlantic warning program. Meteorologist - Daniel Noah – says local forecasters had to be educated about the potential for Atlantic tsunamis.
“We did have it in place for much of the country, however the Gulf Coast and the Atlantic Coast needed to shore up their tsunami warning programs. We have them so infrequently on this side of the country, we had to do a training program to say what is the tsunami threat to Florida?”
Noah says meteorologists learned what to look for, and how to relay information to emergency managers and local media. He says the next step is a series of buoys that can detect a passing tsunami. But, there’s no word on when they might be in place.
Wednesday, 15 June 2005 01:00