Tsunami: Are we ready?: American Cities Vulnerable Tsunamis

Published: September 19, 2015

Tsunami: Are we ready?: American Cities Vulnerable Tsunamis, Is Los Angeles ready for a massive tsunami? How about Honolulu or Seattle? In Chile, more than a million people evacuated their homes in the wake of an 8.3-magnitude earthquake and tsunami alert on Wednesday night, keeping the casualty count below a dozen.

Compare that to 2010, when an 8.8-magnitude temblor caused more than 500 deaths, many of them due to a massive tsunami. Back then, the government failed to issue an early tsunami alert, resulting in criminal charges against several officials and prompting new evacuation drills and emergency response procedures.

Evacuating a million people and having only a few deaths is “phenomenal,” Costas Synolakis, director of the University of Southern California’s Tsunami Research Center, told NBC News.

“It’s a positive message for us,” he said. “If the Chileans can evacuate a million people in 15 or 20 minutes, we should be able to do it as well.”

But there is no guarantee that Americans are as prepared as people in Chile.


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