NOAA Increases Tsunami Warning Capability for Hawaii and West Coast
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has announced the deployment of six new Deep-ocean Assessment and Reporting of Tsunami (DART) stations in the southwest Pacific.
The new stations provide increased lead time for tsunami detection to the United States’ coastal areas most at risk of tsunamis traveling long distances, including the coastlines of Hawaii, Alaska, Washington, Oregon, and California.
NOAA says that the agency has drastically improved its tsunami detection and warning capability since the Indian Ocean tsunami two years ago, and that the new buoys are the latest step in an ongoing effort to increase the tsunami program at home and abroad.
Over the last two years, NOAA has expanded the U.S. warning system to include the Atlantic coast, Gulf of Mexico, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The agency has deployed a total of 25 DART tsunameter stations in U.S. waters; installed 15 new and upgraded 33 existing tide stations; completed inundation models for 17 communities; and recognized 26 new TsunamiReady communities. NOAA also hired new employees to fully staff its two tsunami warning centers in Honolulu and Palmer, Alaska, around the clock.
NOAA sees the enhanced warning system as having strengthened the Indian Ocean tsunami warning system program. NOAA also has partnered with the government of Thailand to launch the first DART station in the Indian Ocean. The DART system is a U.S. contribution that provides real-time tsunami detection as waves travel across open waters. It is the first of 22 tsunameters envisioned for an Indian Ocean regional tsunami warning system through the UNESCO Intergovernmental Ocean Commission. The tsunameters also are part of a larger end-to-end warning system that includes tide gauges, communications upgrades, inundation modeling, and dissemination systems.
In 2007, NOAA, an agency of the U.S. Commerce Department, celebrates 200 years of science and service to the nation. From the establishment of the Survey of the Coast in 1807 by Thomas Jefferson to the formation of the Weather Bureau and the Bureau of Commercial Fisheries in the 1870s, much of America’s scientific heritage is rooted in NOAA.
NOAA is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and information service delivery for transportation, and by providing environmental stewardship of the nation’s coastal and marine resources.
Through the emerging Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS), NOAA is working with its federal partners, more than 60 countries, and the European Commission to develop a global monitoring network to observe, predict, and protect the planet.