Tsunami Warning and Preparedness

An Assessment of the U.S. Tsunami Program and the Nation’s Preparedness Efforts

Committee on the Review of the Tsunami Warning and Forecast System and Overview of the Nation’s Tsunami Preparedness

Ocean Studies Board

Division on Earth and Life Studies

NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL
OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS

Washington, D.C.
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Tsunami Warning and Preparedness An Assessment of the U.S. Tsunami Program and the Nation’s Preparedness Efforts Committee on the Review of the Tsunami Warning and Forecast System and Overview of the Nation’s Tsunami Preparedness Ocean Studies Board Division on Earth and Life Studies

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THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS • 500 Fifth Street, N.W. • Washington, DC 20001 NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special compe- tences and with regard for appropriate balance. This study was supported by the University of Alaska Fairbanks under contract number UAF-08-0050, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration under contract number DG133W08SE4972, and the National Academy of Sciences. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not neces- sarily reflect the views of the organizations or agencies that provided support for the project. International Standard Book Number-13: 978-0-309-13753-9 (Book) International Standard Book Number-10: 0-309-13753-5 (Book) International Standard Book Number-13: 978-0-309-13754-6 (PDF) International Standard Book Number-10: 0-309-13754-3 (PDF) Library of Congress Control Number: 2010939990 Front Cover: Image of the North Pacific Ocean depicts predicted maximum wave lengths. Contour lines indicate the travel times in hours of the leading tsunami wave generated by an earthquake near the Kuril Islands on November 15, 2006, with permission from Vasily Titov, NOAA/PMEL. Image of the tsunami hazard zone warning sign was provided by Jenifer Rhoades of NOAA. Tsunami public education: A small-group discussion between a seaside, Oregon, tsunami outreach coordinator and middle school student. Image courtesy of DOGAMI. Image of the DART buoy was taken from http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2005/images/dart_ buoy-wave2.jpg, NOAA. Additional copies of this report are available from the National Academies Press, 500 Fifth Street, N.W., Lockbox 285, Washington, DC 20055; (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334-3313 (in the Washington metropolitan area); Internet, http://www.nap.edu. Copyright 2011 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America

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The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distin- guished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is presi- dent of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Charles M. Vest is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering com- munities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. Charles M. Vest are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council. www.national-academies.or g

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COMMITTEE ON THE REVIEW OF THE TSUNAMI WARNING AND FORECAST SYSTEM AND OVERVIEW OF THE NATION’S TSUNAMI PREPAREDNESS JOHN A. ORCUTT (Chair), University of California, San Diego, La Jolla MARTHA R. GRABOWSKI (Vice-chair), Le Moyne College, Syracuse, New York, and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York BRIAN F. ATWATER, U.S. Geological Survey, Seattle, Washington ANN BOSTROM, University of Washington, Seattle GEORGE CRAWFORD, Washington State Emergency Management Division (Retired), Camp Murray RICHARD K. EISNER, Research Center for Disaster Reduction Systems, Disaster Prevention Research Institute, Kyoto University, Japan JIAN LIN, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Massachusetts DOUGLAS S. LUTHER*, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu HUGH B. MILBURN, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (Retired), Lake Forest Park, Washington DENNIS S. MILETI, University of Colorado (Retired), Rancho Mirage, California EMILE A. OKAL*, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois COSTAS E. SYNOLAKIS, University of Southern California, Los Angeles NATHAN J. WOOD, U.S. Geological Survey, Vancouver, Washington HARRY YEH, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon Staff CLAUDIA MENGELT, Study Director SUSAN PARK, Senior Program Officer (until December 2009) DEBORAH GLICKSON, Program Officer (from January 2010) PAMELA LEWIS, Administrative Coordinator SHERRIE FORREST, Research Associate JEREMY JUSTICE, Senior Program Assistant HELENA ANTOUN, Christine Mirzayan Science and Technology Policy Fellow (from September to December 2009) IAN BROSNAN, Christine Mirzayan Science and Technology Policy Fellow (from January to April 2010) * Resigned from the committee. 

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OCEAN STUDIES BOARD DONALD F. BOESCH (Chair), University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, Cambridge EDWARD A. BOYLE, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge JORGE E. CORREDOR, University of Puerto Rico, Mayag�ez KEITH R. CRIDDLE, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Juneau JODY W. DEMING, University of Washington, Seattle MARY (MISSY) H. FEELEY, ExxonMobil Exploration Company, Houston, Texas ROBERT HALLBERG, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Princeton University, New Jersey DEBRA HERNANDEZ, Hernandez and Company, Isle of Palms, South Carolina ROBERT A. HOLMAN, Oregon State University, Corvallis KIHO KIM, American University, Washington, DC BARBARA A. KNUTH, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York ROBERT A. LAWSON, Science Applications International Corporation, San Diego, California GEORGE I. MATSUMOTO, Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, California JAY S. PEARLMAN, The Boeing Company (retired), Port Angeles, Washington ANDREW A. ROSENBERG, Conservation International, Arlington, Virginia DANIEL L. RUDNICK, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, California ROBERT J. SERAFIN, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado ANNE M. TREHU, Oregon State University, Corvallis PETER L. TYACK, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Massachusetts DAWN J. WRIGHT, Oregon State University, Corvallis JAMES A. YODER, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Massachusetts Staff SUSAN ROBERTS, Director CLAUDIA MENGELT, Senior Program Officer KIM WADDELL, Senior Program Officer DEBORAH GLICKSON, Program Officer MARTHA MCCONNELL, Program Officer SHUBHA BANSKOTA, Financial Associate PAMELA LEWIS, Administrative Coordinator SHERRIE FORREST, Research Associate JEREMY JUSTICE, Senior Program Assistant EMILY OLIVER, Program Assistant i

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Acknowledgments This report was greatly enhanced by the participants of the meetings held as part of this study. To begin with, the committee would like to thank Jenifer Rhoades (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration [NOAA]) for her tremendous assistance with providing sup- porting documentation from across NOAA and her presentation. The committee would like to acknowledge the efforts of those who gave presentations at meetings: Susan Asturias (San Diego County Office of Emergency Services), Rodey Batiza (National Science Foundation), Eddie Bernard (NOAA), Linda Bourque (University of California, Los Angeles), Gary Carver (Humboldt State University), Kwok Fai Cheung (University of Hawaii), Herb Dragert (Geological Survey of Canada), Paula Dunbar (NOAA), John Ferree (NOAA), James Goltz (California Emergency Management Agency), Roger Hansen (Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska, Fairbanks), Barry Hirshorn (NOAA), Paul Huang (NOAA), William Knight (NOAA), William Leith (U.S. Geological Survey), Michael Lindell (Texas A&M University), Michael Mahoney (Federal Emergency Management Agency), Chris Maier (NOAA), Charles McCreery (NOAA), Susan McLean (NOAA), Anu Mittal (Government Accountability Office), David Oppenheimer (U.S. Geological Survey), Ervin Petty (Alaska Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management), George Priest (Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries), Karlene Roberts (University of California, Berkeley), John Sorensen (Oak Ridge National Laboratory), Adam Stein (NOAA), Elena Suleimani (Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska, Fairbanks), Uri S. ten Brink (U.S. Geological Survey), Vasily Titov (NOAA), Louis Uccellini (NOAA), Christa von Hillebrandt (University of Puerto Rico, Mayag�ez), Stuart Weinstein (NOAA), Paul Whitmore (NOAA), Gene Whitney (Office of Science and Technology Policy), Jay Wilson (Clackamas County Emergency Management), Rick Wilson (California Geological Survey). These talks helped set the stage for fruitful discussions in the closed sessions that followed. The committee is also grateful to a number of people who provided important discussion and/or material for this report: Leighton Ah Cook (Hawaii State Civil Defense), Christine Brown (Rochester Institute of Technology), Laura Kong (International Tsunami Information Center), Aurelio Mercado-Irizarry (University of Puerto Rico), Vickie Nadolski (NOAA), Therese Pierce (NOAA), Kevin Richards (Hawaii State Civil Defense), John Schelling (Washington Emergency Management Division), Edward Teixeira (Hawaii State Civil Defense), Tim Walsh (Washington State Department of Natural Resources), Ray Willemann (Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology), Brian Yanagi (International Tsunami Information Center), Joseph Zhang (Oregon Health and Science University). This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse per- spectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the NRC’s Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as ii

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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their participation in the review of this report: MANI K. CHANDY, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena LORI DENGLER, Humboldt State University, Arcata, California ERIC GEIST, U.S. Geological Survey, Menlo Park, California FRANK I. GONZÁLEZ, University of Washington, Seattle EVE GRUNTFEST, University of Oklahoma, Norman ARLEEN A. HILL, University of Memphis, Tennessee PHILIP LI-FAN LIU, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York CARL MAIDA, University of California, Los Angeles FREDRIC RAICHLEN, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena PETER M. SHEARER, University of California, San Diego Although the reviewers listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Robin K. McGuire, William Lettis and Associates, Inc., appointed by the Divison on Earth and Life Studies, and Robert A. Dalrymple, Johns Hopkins University, appointed by the Report Review Committee, who were responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring committee and the institution. iii

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Contents EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 1 SUMMARY 3 1 INTRODUCTION 21 The Tsunami Threat in the United States, 21 Goals and Scope of this Report, 24 The Range of Options Available for Tsunami Hazard Mitigation, 25 Focus on Warning and Preparedness, 25 The Nation’s Tsunami Warning and Preparedness Efforts, 25 National Tsunami Hazard Mitigation Program, 26 NOAA’s Tsunami Program, 28 Assessing the Nation’s Efforts, 30 Challenges to Reducing the Nation’s Vulnerability to Tsunamis, 32 Tying It All Together: Report Roadmap, 35 2 ALIGNING PRIORITIES WITH SOCIETAL RISKS FROM TSUNAMIS 37 Summary, 37 Introduction, 38 Comprehensive Risk Assessment, 40 Tsunami Hazard Assessment, 43 Inundation Modeling, 43 Hazard Maps, 53 Evacuation Maps, 61 Vulnerability Assessment, 65 Population Exposure and Sensitivity, 66 Evacuation Potential, 68 3 EDUCATION AND PREPAREDNESS OF INDIVIDUALS, COMMUNITIES, AND DECISION MAKERS 73 Summary, 73 Introduction, 74 Education of At-Risk Individuals, 75 Factors That Increase the Effectiveness of Education, 75 Understanding the Local Risk Conditions and the Target Audience, 79 Increasing the Effectiveness of Public Education of Tsunamis, 82 ix

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CONTENTS Community Preparedness Efforts, 86 Developing and Delivering Effective Warning Messages, 92 Developing Effective Messages, 92 Effective Delivery of Warning Messages, 96 Improving Coordination of Preparedness Needs and Evacuation Procedures, 99 Improving Communication Among TWCs and NTHMP Members, 99 Communicating Local Community Needs to NTHMP and the TWCs, 101 Practicing Evacuation Procedures and Protocols, 103 Post-Event Reconnaissance, 106 4 TSUNAMI DETECTION AND FORECASTING 109 Summary, 109 Detection of Earthquakes, 111 Seismic Networks Used by the Tsunami Warning Centers, 112 Algorithms for Estimating an Earthquake’s Tsunami Potential, 114 Potential Use of Earthquake Alerts from the NEIC, 117 Detection of Tsunamis with Sea Level Sensors, 119 The Tsunami Warning Decision Process Before and After Enactment of Public Law 109-424, 119 The Economic Value of the DART Network, 121 Description of the Coastal Sea Level Gauge Network, 121 Adequacy of the Geographical Coverage of the Coastal Sea Level Gauge Network, 128 Reliability of the Coastal Sea Level Gauge Network, 129 Coastal Sea Level Data Processing, 130 Description of the Deep-ocean Assessment and Reporting of Tsunamis (DART) Network, 131 Adequacy of the Geographical Coverage of the DART Network, 132 Reliability of the DART Network, 139 DART Data Processing, 145 Sea Level Data Integration into Other U.S. and Global Observation Systems, 145 Forecasting of a Tsunami Under Way, 147 Instrumental Detection of Near-Field Tsunamis, 151 Research Opportunities and New Technologies, 155 Duration of High-Frequency P-Waves for Earthquake Moment Magnitude Estimation, 156 Hydroacoustic Monitoring of Underwater Geophysical Events, 157 Continuous GPS Measurements of Crustal Movement, 158 Observation of Tsunami Wave Trains with Satellite Altimeters, 160 Tsunami-Induced Sea-Surface Roughness and “Tsunami Shadows” 161 , Direct Recording of Tsunami Waves by Island Seismometers, 161 “Upward Continuation” of the Tsunami Wave and Its Detection in Space, 162 x

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Contents 5 LONG-TERM RELIABILITY AND SUSTAINABILITY OF WARNING CENTER OPERATIONS 163 Summary, 163 The Tsunami Warning Centers, 165 Tsunami Warning Center Functions, 167 Tsunami Detection, 169 Tsunami Decision Support, 176 Product Generation and Warnings, 176 Technology Needs, 179 Human Resources, 184 Organizational Structures, 186 Conclusions, 189 REFERENCES 193 APPENDIXES A Examples of Tsunami Sources That Threaten the United States 207 B Review of the Tsunami Warning and Forecast System and Overview of the Nation’s Tsunami Preparedness 217 C Relative Hazards of Near- and Far-Field Tsunami Sources 219 D Available Tsunami Evacuation Maps 223 E Examples of Tsunami Education Efforts 237 F June 14, 2005: A Case Study in Tsunami Warning and Response 243 G Magnitudes from C. Richter to Mwp and the W Phase 249 H Tsunami Earthquakes 257 I Samoan Tsunami 259 J Response to the Chilean-Earthquake Generated Tsunami: The Hawaii Case Study 263 K Acronyms 273 L Committee and Staff Biographies 279 xi

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