Danger! Tsunami! Hopefully, Cordovans will not hear the sirens announcing such news. However, Cordova experienced a tsunami in 1964 and it is absolutely possible that it could happen again. If tsunamis have damaged an area before, they are actually likely to do so again…but with proper planning, preparation, and evacuation, Cordovans can mitigate that danger.
If there is an earthquake near the coastline of the northern Pacific Ocean, the West Coast/Alaska Warning Center will know immediately and determine whether or not it may generate a tsunami. An offshore earthquake with a magnitude of 7 or greater could generate a tsunami, at which time a warning would be issued to the citizens of Cordova through the use of the sirens and by a door-to-door evacuation program (by the fire department) in selected areas.When a tsunami WARNING is issued in Cordova:
- Keep calm and take a safe route to high ground. Learn where tsunami safe areas are.
- If you are on a beach or near the shore, evacuate to higher ground IMMEDIATELY.
- A noticeable rise or fall of the coastal water is nature’s tsunami warning…listen to it and seek higher ground if you observe that phenomenon.
- Closely monitor our local radio station, USCG emergencies stations, NOAA weather stations or other reliable sources. There WILL be information issued on our local radio station.
- NEVER go down to the beach to “watch”. If you can see a wave, you are too close to escape.
- A small tsunami at one beach can big HUGE at another beach…do not become complacent if you see a small one.
- Follow the instructions of any local officials. If you are ordered to leave your home, do so immediately.
- If you must leave home, remember to bring your emergency “GO” kit (Does your family HAVE one?)
- Turn off your electric and gas mains , if time permits
- Remember that a tsunami is NOT just one wave, but a SERIES of waves
Lastly, learn about tsunamis. And, as always. Be prudent. Be ready. Be prepared.