International Tsunami Warning Center conducts first communications test
| 05.17.2006 | 05:40:11 | Views: 3011 | ID:
May 17 '06: The first extensive test of the international Tsunami Warning System was tested on Wednesday according to the Associated Press that found more than 30 countries participating in a drill which would signal an imaginary 9.2-magnitude earthquake rocking the coast of Chile.
"Within 10 minutes, warnings clearly labeled as part of the exercise went out from the Hawaii facility, as well as the Alaska Tsunami Warning Center near Anchorage," the AP reported. "It was the first of nine bulletins issued throughout the day, warning of a fictitious wave that grew as big as 30 feet."Coincidentally, a magnitude 6.0 temblor struck off the coast of the Pacific island of Tonga during the drill, CNN International reported on its website. "According to the US Geological Survey (USGS), Wednesday morning's quake occurred at a depth of 35 kilometers in the ocean about 145 kilometers (90 miles) east-northeast of Tonga's main island of Nuku'alofa." Efforts, to speed the spread of information about tsunamis, by the international community have been increased in recent years following the disaster in the Indian Ocean in late 2004 and early 2005 when a large 9.0-magnitude quake sent killer waves to the shores of unsuspecting beach communities causing the deaths of more than 200,000 people. During the test, the AP reported countries' tsunamis warning centers practiced receiving and sending communications while "participating governments tested how fast they receive the warnings and how rapidly they went through domestic emergency alert systems. ... Some areas also conducted mock evacuations." Charles McCreery, director of the warning center in Hawaii told the AP the test was to help countries and coastal communities raise the collective awareness and preparedness regarding tsunami dangers. "So this was a golden opportunity to try and bring that level of preparedness back up," McCreery said.
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