An earthquake is one of the natural’s Tsunami warning signs, if you are at the beach and the ground shakes so hard you can’t stand up, a Tsunami may have been generated.
Ø Be aware of tsunami facts. This knowledge could save your life.
Ø Share this knowledge with families and friends. It could save their lives.
Ø Determine if you live, work or play near a coastal low lying area or tsunami evacuation zone.
Ø Follow the advice of local emergency and law enforcement authorities. Do not return until authorities say it is safe.
Ø Stay away from bodies of water. If you are at the beach or near the ocean and you feel the earth shake, move immediately further inland or to high ground. Do not wait for tsunami warning to be issued.
Ø Stay away from rivers and streams that lead to the ocean due to strong tsunami wave action and current.
Ø Take shelter if you live in a tsunami evacuation zone and you hear a warning, your family should evacuate
Ø Walk in an orderly, calm manner to the evacuation site or to any safe place outside your evacuation zone.
Ø If your school is located near coastal low-lying areas or near rivers and streams that lead to the ocean and you hear there is a tsunami warning, you should follow the advice of teachers and other school officials.
Ø If you see a tsunami, you may not be able to outrun it. Look for sturdy, multi-storied, reinforced concrete building and climb to its highest floor or roof. If there is no time, climb up and cling to a strong tree.
Sensing a Tsunami
Tsunami can be detected using our human senses. Recognize tsunami’s natural warning signs.
· Strong local earthquake may cause tsunamis
· Feel the ground shaking severely
· As a tsunami approaches shorelines, water may recede from the coast, exposing the ocean floor, reefs and fishes.
· Abnormal ocean activity, a wall of water, and approaching tsunami create a loud ‘roaring’ sound similar to tat of a train or jet craft
· Hear the roar
· Don’t wait for official evacuation orders.
· Immediately leave low-lying coastal areas.
· Move inland to higher ground.
· Run if you see a tsunami coming.
Tsunami safety rules
Ø All earthquakes do not cause tsunami, but many do. When you know that an earthquake has occurred, stand by for a tsunami emergency message.
Ø Do not stay in low lying coastal areas after a strong earthquake has been felt.
Ø A tsunami is a series of waves carrying a massive volume of water that can flood and inundate lands for hours. The first wave may not be the largest. Stay away from danger areas until and all-clear is issued local authority.
Ø All warnings to public must be taken very seriously, even some are for non-destructive events.
Ø All tsunami are potentially dangerous, even though they may not damage every coastline they strike.
Ø Never go down to the shore to watch tsunami. Do not surf a tsunami. Tsunami do not curl and break like normal waves.
Ø If you live in a coastal area, be prepared and know nature’s tsunami warning signals.
Ø Give your fullest cooperation during tsunami emergency to local authorities. (National Disaster Management office, Police, Vanuatu Mobile Force and the local Chiefs.
Tsunami Safety for Boaters
Ø Since tsunami waves cannot be seen in the open ocean, do not return to port if you are at sea and a tsunami warning has been issued. Listen to mariner radio report when it is safe to return to port.
Ø Tsunamis can cause rapid changes in the water level and unpredictable dangerous current that are magnified in ports and harbours. Damaging wave activity can continue for many hours following initial tsunami impact. Make sure that conditions in the harbour are safe for navigation and berthing.
Ø Boats are safer from tsunami damage while in the deep ocean rather that moored in a harbour. But, do not risk your life and attempt to motor your boat into the deep water if it is too close to wave arrival time.
Ø For locally –generated tsunami, there will be no time to motor a boat into deep water because waves can come as within minutes. Leave your boat at the pier and physically move to higher ground.
Ø For a tele-tsunami generated far away, there will be more time (one or two more hours) to deploy a boat. Listen for official tsunami wave arrival time estimates and plan accordingly.
Ø Keep in contact with port and harbour authorities when tsunami warnings are issued.