Skip to main content

Does Alaska's tsunami alert system work?

Tsunami hazard sign
Tsunami hazard sign (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ben Anderson | Mar 31, 2012

A tsunami warning test conducted in Alaska Wednesday morning revealed a few key flaws in the vital statewide system, and authorities are now working to correct them.

Coordinating a statewide alert involves a lot of moving parts: depending on the type of alert, numerous state agencies, broadcasters, and local officials must spring into action to get the word out about a potential disaster. For a seismically active state like Alaska, the tsunami warning system is vital for notifying Alaska's coastal communities.

The test didn’t go quite as planned in a couple of communities. Unalaska is experiencing a recurrent issue with its tsunami warning sirens that the city is working to fix, so the test wasn't fully carried out there. A more serious misunderstanding occurred in Cordova, where communication with local authorities may not have been adequate and there was brief confusion about the test's authenticity.

According to Cordova Police Chief Bob Griffiths, confusion arose because local authorities didn't have enough information prior to the test. He said the department was informed of a pending test in early February, but never had any follow-up beyond an update heard from a radio station in nearby Valdez.

So when the test rolled around at about 9:45 a.m. Wednesday, radio and television airwaves were taken over with the test message, just as they should have been. About 10 minutes later, Griffiths said, police got a call telling them to turn on their tsunami warning siren. The department tests its sirens frequently, with a tone that's different than what would be heard in event of an actual tsunami.

"The pre-recorded message for the test is a completely different tone than the actual siren for the tsunami alert," Griffiths said. "The alert is a loud, piercing noise" that was heard up to one and a half miles from the coast.

Cordovans who may not have seen or heard the television or radio.... http://www.alaskadispatch.com/article/does-alaskas-tsunami-alert-system-work

Popular posts from this blog

Crabbers get a boost in bairdi Tanner quotas

LAINE WELCH Image via Wikipedia FISHERIES Published: November 7th, 2009 10:10 PM Last Modified: November 7th, 2009 10:12 PM KODIAK -- Kodiak and Alaska Peninsula crabbers got some good news last week -- bigger catch quotas for bairdi Tanner crab, a mid-January fishery important to local economies. Bairdi are the larger cousins of the better-known opilio Tanners, or snow crab. The bairdi boost stems from a big pulse of new crab recruits that biologists have been tracking for years. "That is what's fueling the increase in the harvest this year. We're just getting the very beginning of that year class," said......... http://www.adn.com/money/welch/story/1004091.html

F/V Northern Leader. Launch. January 26, 2013 (video)

EXTRA :  Wave of new vessels will boost Alaska, Washington shipyards MOLLY DISCHNER, ALASKA JOURNAL OF COMMERCE Jan 24, 2013 - 10:53 AM AKST Alaska’s fishing fleets are aging, but new vessels are making their way onto the water. According to the National Marine Fisheries Service, 1,646 fishing vessels participated in federal fisheries offshore from Alaska in 2010. The majority — more than 900 — were built in the 1970s and 1980s. The first new vessels operating in Alaska waters will be longliners fishing in the Bering Sea with Alaskan Leader Fisheries’ Northern Leader and Alaska Longline Co.’s Arctic Prowler scheduled to start fishing this spring. Alaskan Leader Fisheries is jointly owned by the Alaska Leader Group of Lynden, Wash., and Dillingham-based Bristol Bay Economic Development Corp. BBEDC is one of six Western Alaska Community Development Quota, or CDQ, groups that receive a 10 percent annual share of the Bering Sea harvests. Petersburg-based Alaska Longline Co. al

Tender "Lonestar" rolls over in the Mouth of the Igushik River (fishery closed)

The Tender "Lonestar" has Capsized in the Mouth of the Igushik River 2:00 PM SUN JUNE 30, 2013 By MIKE MASON A large vessel, used to transport sockeye salmon from the fishing grounds to a processing facility, has capsized in the mouth of one of the major salmon producing rivers in Bristol Bay. KDLG’s Mike Mason has the details.... http://kdlg.org/post/tender-lonestar-has-capsized-mouth-igushik-river SUNDAY, JUNE 30, 2013 Trouble in Bristol Bay The Alaska Department of Fish and Game shut down the local setnet fishery after a salmon tender, the Lonestar, sank this morning in the mouth of the Igushik River....... http://deckboss.blogspot.com/2013/06/trouble-in-bristol-bay.html Coast Guard responding to partially submerged vessel near Dillingham, Alaska Date: June 30, 2013 District 17 Public Affairs Detachment Kodiak KODIAK, Alaska — The Coast Guard is responding to the sinking of a fishing vessel near the mouth of the Igushik River, Sunday. The Coast Guard is de