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Old 30-09-2009, 17:31   #1
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Tsunami How-To ?

OK, so you are woken up by the quakes or the news of such. You think you might be in the risk zone.

What do you do?

Asking because was half-shocked by the report at Noonsite - people went out of their boats, onto the dock and started talking .....

Was it not safer just to cast the lines ASAP and head for the open sea?

Your opinions / experiences ?

b.
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Old 30-09-2009, 18:01   #2
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deep water....jt
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Old 30-09-2009, 18:12   #3
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sometimes you get more warning

Many years ago we had a tsunami warning along the California central coast. The CG was able to tell us the exact time to expect the tsunami, but not how big it would be. After calling my insurance agent and discovering that I was covered, I decided to leave the boat where it was and to sit out the event on higher ground. (They evacuated neighborhoods lower than 40 feet elevation.)

Many of the fishermen from the Moss Landing fleet decided to take their boats out into deeper water to ride out the wave. The theory here was that the boat had a better chance out at sea. I listened to them via handheld VHF, and there was a lot of radio traffic of one boat telling another boat that they were too close. Then, right around when the wave was supposed to hit, it got quiet on the channel. Finally, someone broke in and asked, "Was that it?"

The tsunami had arrived precisely on time, but was only 8' high.
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Old 30-09-2009, 18:29   #4
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We have friends in transit between American Samoa and Fiji - they reported an abnormally long swell 20% - 30% higher than the normal set.
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Old 30-09-2009, 19:15   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
OK, so you are woken up by the quakes or the news of such. You think you might be in the risk zone.

What do you do?

Asking because was half-shocked by the report at Noonsite - people went out of their boats, onto the dock and started talking .....

Was it not safer just to cast the lines ASAP and head for the open sea?

Your opinions / experiences ?

b.
Yeah, that was my first reaction also. Start the motor, cast off and go full power for deep water. I've lived through 3 Kali quakes, including the 7.0 Northridge one, and was shaken awake at 4:30, and I can tell you I was awake and looking at the lights go out all over LA. It lasted an eternity, 30 seconds or so where we were, 20 miles away. The Samoa quake is said to have lasted 3 minutes!!! Procedure onboard, for me, will be to run for depth as fast as possible.
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Old 30-09-2009, 19:41   #6
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Was it not safer just to cast the lines ASAP and head for the open sea?

.
Having a look at the chart Pago Pago wharf seems to be right up the harbour. Most of the harbour has 50-60 meters depth and its less than 3nm to get out into 100 meters depth.

Then there is a bit of a difficulty with Taema Bank and some shallows stretching across the whole front - about 12m depth.

Distance to the 1000 meter line from the wharf is about 4 nm.

I sure as hell wouldn’t want to be near Taema Bank with a tsunami heading for it!

Kinda like being between the devil and the deep blue sea!

I think I would head out asap and stand in the outer harbour, but inside the banks.

On chart below (sorry I couldn’t zoom in better!) The green splodge is where I think the wharf is. Thats .7nm from the beginning of my distance line so add to the 3.46

4 miles at max revs = 30 minutes. How long after the earthquake was the tsunami? I spose thats going to define how far one could get.

At least theres a few minutes to work out a good plan while under way!

Thoughts?

Mark
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Old 30-09-2009, 19:50   #7
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From Noonsite.
I think it imoortant to have a look at the exact text:

Quote:
This morning (six hrs ago) we were shaken awake by an earthquake which seemed to have no end! We were aboard Gallivanter and tied side-to a big concrete dock in the heart of Pago Pago, American Samoa. And after living up & down the California coast, I knew this was no minor tremor.

After the rude awakening, Cath & I walked across the dock and chatted with a few of our fellow sailors, one of whom said that he's just done a Google search on "recent earthquakes" and said that it measured-in at 8.1 and the epicenter was only 120 miles distant.

We returned to Gallivanter and I turned on our laptop and searched the same website. Sure enough there it was... "8.1 earthquake - American Samoa - 20 minutes ago". I clicked on the "Show Map" option and noticed the epicenter was located south west of Pago Pago... which is located on the southern side of the island.

Just as I was considering the ramifications of that little fact
My bolding.

So it indicates they were there for 20 minutes+ before the water receeded.

I think these people should have left as soon as they thought it was "no minor tremor"


Mark
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Old 30-09-2009, 19:53   #8
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This is an excellent website with photos of the 26 December 2004 tsunami, from a cruiser's perspective (no graphic photos), along with captions & a narrative.

Tsunami in Thailand
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Old 30-09-2009, 20:56   #9
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Usually the best bet is to check the NOAA's tsunami warning page - mind you the first warning message came out at 1804, 16 minutes after the quake - the message estimated the tsunami would hit Pago Pago at 1759 - so the message was a little too late. http://www.prh.noaa.gov/ptwc/message....29.180334.txt

Guess if you feel a strong quake while in harbour, then the best bet is to head to high ground pronto.

Open ocean you can't even tell a tsunami has passed - it looks pretty much like any other wave.
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Old 30-09-2009, 21:23   #10
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I am with Mark on this one…… Get out into deep water and then monitor the status.
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Old 01-10-2009, 02:20   #11
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Yep. I think Mark was also suggesting you need to know you can get into deep water in plenty of time. When you have a straight run to deep water, I would be pretty keen on getting out there.

When Susan rang me at work to say the Tsunami was a-coming down to New Zealand, I figured insurance could handle any risk.

If I was on the boat close to the epicentre, and a mile or more away from deep water, I may still prefer finding a big hill to crossing the bar ... or maybe I could find a nice bar on a big hill.
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Old 01-10-2009, 05:24   #12
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I would think an 8' high tsunami could be devestating, I believe the one that just occured was only 5'??
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Old 01-10-2009, 05:43   #13
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you need to know you can get into deep water in plenty of time.
Yeah, we always plot the course to get out as soon as we arrive


Quote:
Originally Posted by roger.waite View Post

the Tsunami was a-coming down to New Zealand, I figured insurance could handle any risk.
Insurance? Wouldnt that be an Act of God? Is it covered?


M
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Old 01-10-2009, 06:08   #14
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Yeah, we always plot the course to get out as soon as we arrive ...
INDEED!

It's called an escape (exit) strategy, or Plan 'B'.
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Old 01-10-2009, 07:55   #15
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I would think an 8' high tsunami could be devestating, I believe the one that just occured was only 5'??
I think he may have meant 8" (inches instead of feet)....
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