Beating the Wave: Tsunami Safety


[ Music ] Tsunamis are the kind of
events that occur infrequently, and most tsunamis
don’t do major damage. There is a low probability
of a tsunami event that can have a very
high impact. In the past 12 years, there
have been a number of tsunamis that have caused some
significant damages. The Indian Ocean tsunami in
2004 caused over 250,000 deaths. The 2011 Tohoku tsunami
caused 10 to 11,000 deaths. We’ve been working to
develop tools that allow us to estimate the amount of
time it will take individuals to evacuate out of
tsunami inundation areas. And the idea there is when we
better understand how long it takes to get out of the
tsunami inundation zone, we can better understand
how to prepare people to reduce loss of life. Losses of life or economic
resources as a result of tsunami are just as much
caused by human activity as they are by the tsunami
activity, because we choose where we’ll construct things. We choose the land that
we are going to occupy. And overall, both within
the U.S. and globally, we have increasing populations. And as — and I believe
increasing concentrations of populations in coastal areas. So, more and more folks
are moving to the coasts, which means more and more
people are being exposed to the potential damage. If you know that a
tsunami is coming, you need to evacuate the area. You need to leave that location
and get to a safe place. That could mean that you
evacuate long distances or evacuate to another area that is outside the tsunami
impact zone or it could mean that you move to
higher elevations in a well-built building, but
either way, you need to get out of the inundation area. [ Music ]

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