Tsunami Walk Time Maps released for Aberdeen, Hoquiam, Bellingham, Anacortes and Port Angeles


Hi I’m Corina Forson, chief hazard
geologist for the Washington Geological Survey. And I’m Daniel Eungard geologist
and tsunami scientist for the Washington Geological Survey. We’re here today to
release a new series of tsunami evacuation products also called walk
Maps they teach you how long it will take to get out of a tsunami inundation
zone and the preferred routes that you should take. People that live work and
play near the coast in Washington State are at risk for tsunamis. Our main causes
of tsunamis in Washington are from earthquakes and landslides. If you feel
an earthquake, that’s your warning and you should evacuate and get to high
ground immediately. We encourage you to take a look at our evacuation maps
before you feel an earthquake so that you know the best route to high ground
and how long it will take you to get there. If you hear a tsunami siren or an
official warning those are also notices that it might be a distant source
earthquake that is causing a tsunami to approach the Washington coast. So you
should listen to local emergency officials and also get to high ground
immediately. You should check out our website at www.dnr.wa.gov/tsunami or the Washington geologic information portal to learn
about these maps and products. These maps are created you in GIS using a tool kit
derived by the USGS. With this toolkit we can take the inundation layer from our
tsunami model and using various data sources model how long it takes for someone
to walk to a high ground location from wherever they are within the inundation
zone. And so that gives you an estimate of how long it would take you to
evacuate before the wave arrives. This is modeled at a slow walk pace meaning it’s a
pace that most average adults can easily maintain. If you like to think of
something that’s analogous to it it is the timing of crosswalks if you can
cross through a crosswalk before the hand comes up and tells you you’ve
exceeded your time, then you were walking faster than this pace so it’s a good
estimate for how long it takes you. gather the inundation zone the different
colors on the map here symbolize the amount of time it will take you based on
your location to get to high ground. On all of these evacuation maps, the gray
area that’s shaded differently than the colored area is high ground or what
we’re calling the safe area from a Cascadia subduction zone
earthquake. The routes in red are designated as the main evacuation routes
but any of the secondary streets will lead you to those main routes and will
get you to safety. If assembly areas are marked on the maps
emergency managers recommend that you gather at the assembly areas for
reunification with your loved ones and friends and family. If there are no assembly areas, get to high ground and wait further instruction
from the local emergency management. We’re releasing these walk maps for the
communities of Aberdeen, Hoquiam, Cosmopolis, Port Angeles, Bellingham, and
the Anacortes area. And with these maps it uses the latest and greatest tsunami
science in terms of inundation extent from our inundation modeling. It uses the
latest topography from lidar flown by the WGS and other related agencies
and it uses land cover from the USGS since 2011 land cover data set. What does
all that mean? It means that the information that goes
into this helps tell you how long it takes to walk given what you’re walking
through. So right now we’re walking through a nice level parking lot and as
you can see, this pace we’re walking is approximately close to
the slow walk pace. It’s very easy to do. If we were walking up a steep hill or if
we were walking through some heavy brush as Corina is now demonstrating it may
take a lot longer for you to walk through that sort of material. And that
that’s where the incline and so that would moderate a walking pace. This is
all taken into account in the modeling process. One thing to keep in mind is if
you have young children or if you are or know are trying to help someone who has
mobility restrictions, this pace might not be the pace that you’ll be able to
move at, and so you must take into account your own personal walking pace
when you’re evacuating. We encourage you to, if you live in these communities or
visit these communities, to attempt to evacuate through a practice run drill
at your pace and time yourself to see how long it takes. That way you’ll know for
you how long it will take you to get to that to high and dry ground. One more
thing to add is the estimates that we show on these
evacuation maps are from the time the earthquake starts shaking. And so if this
is a Cascadia subduction zone earthquake shaking could last for five minutes, and
so the amount of time it will take you to get to safety after you gather
yourself and finish your drop cover and hold on
could be longer depending on the amount of debris or liquefaction or different things that have happened. During the earthquake you should
always use situational awareness and try to avoid any obstacles that have fallen
or become in the way when you evacuate. Also – try and you know just get
to high ground the safest way possible trying to follow the major evacuation
routes.

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