From Mahina Expeditions:
As sailors, we need to be aware of the ever present threat of a tsunami. By establishing emergency procedures for your crew and vessel along with knowing what to expect and what to do in the event of a tsunami, it will be far less likely that you or your crew will become casualties or that your vessel will sustain damage.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Pacific Tsunami Warning Center is located at Ewa Beach, Hawaii. They have seafloor and coastal sensors located around the Pacific.
When Ashore in a Coastal Location
In any coastal location, always note the tidal range and times. If you ever see the sea level receding lower than normal, realize that this is the natural warning sign of an approaching tsunami.
Your Boat Cleaning Analysts Suggest to Exercise Caution If You See the Sea Level Receding
Your boat cleaning products specialists know that in the Samoan tsunami, the ground floors of many buildings were washed clean of everything, and it would not have been possible to survive due to backwash of debris and swift currents, while above the third floor, many buildings were relatively undamaged.
If you are at anchor and experience an earthquake or rapidly receding water, immediately start your engine, raise your anchor and get to deeper water. In the 2009 tsunami that hit Niuatoputapu, friends aboard a 39-foot sloop tried to raise anchor immediately after the earthquake but found their chain wrapped around a coral head, so they let out all of their chain.
When leaving the boat
Here are some priorities to quickly grab:
1. Passports, cash and credit cards
2. Iridium satellite phone
3. Cell phone
4. VHF handheld radio (this proved very helpful in Samoa)
Know the Signs
Wayne Hodges and the group of boaters in Pago Pago Harbor never received an “official” warning of the impending tsunami. But nature provided clues. Knowing how to read the signs, and acting on them, can be the difference between life and death.
The first clue of a tsunami threat was the earthquake. Your other option is to take the boat out to deep water. This is risky, however, especially if you do not know how close the quake’s epicenter is. The closer the epicenter, the less amount of time you have before a tsunami arrives.
Another clue of nature is receding water, which often precedes the arrival of a tsunami. In the devastating 2004 Sumatra quake and tsunamis, many people saw the waters recede but did not know what it meant.
Earthquakes and tsunamis release unbelievable amounts of energy. Some additional natural signs that a tsunami may be imminent are odd sounds, weird vibrations and unusual water behavior. Hodges heard a thrumming.
Unlike hurricanes and volcanic eruptions, which can generally be predicted early on, no one knows when the next tsunami will come. But come it will.
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