A tsunami is a series of waves that can be dangerous and destructive. They can be caused by underwater disturbances or earthquakes. When you hear a tsunami warning, move at once to higher ground and stay there until local authorities say it is safe to return home.
What can I do today?
- Be familiar with the tsunami warning signs. A rapid rise or fall in coastal waters and a large earthquake are both signs to an approaching tsunami.
- Know the location of your local evacuation site. Most coastal communities have a designated area on high ground that the community will meet, e.g.: a school.
- Know your community's warning siren or method of letting people know a tsunami is coming.
- DO NOT go to the water to watch the tsunami come in!
For Schools and Educators
- Alaska Tsunami Education Program
- Tsunami Teacher Resources and Information for Kids
- Culturally Relevant Curriculum About Tsunami Generation and Preparedness:
Good Tsunami Sites:
- Pacific Disaster Center - The PDC provides easy access to hazard and risk information and analytical products for executive decision-makers, disaster managers, and community planners.
- Tsunami Hazard Mitigation
- National Tsunami Warning Center
- Tsunami Inundation Maps
- Mitigation Reference Link Page - see DHS&EM's complete list of mitigation links here
If you have questions about mitigation, e-mail Alaska's Hazard Mitigation Officer, Brent Nichols.
Tsunami Evacuation Maps
|Community||Tsunami Ready Community||Distant Tsunami Potential||Local Tsunami Potential||Tsunami Siren||Tsunami Evacuation Map/Brochure||Population|
|USCG Station Kodiak||Medium||Yes|
DISTANT SOURCE TSUNAMI HAZARD means the tsunami is generated so far away that the earthquake was not felt at all or only slightly. An estimate can be made of potential danger. Maximum runup heights would only be reached at the shoreline and the maximum distance inland only reached where the coast is low, flat, and unobstructed. "High" means possible runup to 50 foot elevation and reaching up to 1 mile inland. "Moderate" means possible runup to 35 foot elevation and inland up to 3/4 mile. "Low" means possible runup to 20 foot elevation and reaching up to 1/2 mile inland.
All listed communities may have a LOCAL TSUNAMI HAZARD which means a tsunami could be generated in nearby waters and reach your community before a formal warning could be transmitted. These waves may arrive in less than one hour and have historically been the highest, up to 100 foot or more. The estimated possible height in each community is difficult to determine. Coastal residents who feel a very strong earthquake (lasting over 30 seconds or if you have difficulty standing) should move to higher ground immediately.
Historic tsunami information and ongoing numeric studies indicate that tsunami flood threat along the western Alaska coast (Bering Sea) is very low, though there is a higher threat in some instances along the Pribilof Island coasts. We have run a preliminary tsunami propagation model. Two hypothetical tsunami sources (earthquakes of Mw 9.0) were placed in the eastern and western parts of the Aleutian chain. The tsunami waves propagated through the Northern Pacific and into the Bering Sea. The continental shelf in the Bering Sea substantially dissipates tsunami energy and slows down the waves. As a result, tsunami waves arrive at Hawaii before they reach the Bering Sea coastline, which gives sufficient warning time to those communities. Higher amplitudes were calculated for St. George and St. Paul islands due to their proximity to the continental slope. The Bristol Bay area has only an estimated >1 meter wave height potential.