Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Grenada: Submarine Volcano Raised To Orange Alert & Tsunami Preparedness Week


Just in time for Tsunami Preparedness Week 2018, Grenada's National Disaster Management Agency (NaDMA) has issued an Orange Alert on nearby submarine volcano Kick’em Jenny, which rises more than 4000 feet from the sea floor, yet its peak remains more than 500 feet below the surface. 
Between 1939 and 2001, at least 12 eruptions were recorded, although many were so small to be only detectable by instruments.  It had remained pretty quiet until 2015, when seismic rumbles briefly Raised It To An Orange Alert Level.
While this week's increased seismic activity may abate again without incident, NaDMA has ordered a 5 km exclusion zone for marine operators.
Distributed online @ 2018-03-12 07:50
Bulletin, St. George’s, Grenada

The National Disaster Management Agency (NaDMA) through the technical support provided by the University of the West Indies Seismic Research Center in Port-of –Spain, Trinidad wishes to advise the General Public that due to increased activities of the Kick em’ Jenny Volcano the alert level has been raised from Yellow to ORANGE.

With this increase in the alert level, ships and other marine operators are asked to observe the exclusion zone of 5 km/3.1miles.

NaDMA in collaboration with the University of the West Indies Seismic Research Center will continue to monitor the activities of Kick em’ Jenny and will update the public as necessary.

The Seismic Research Centre (SRC) of the University of the West Indies characterizes an Orange Alert as:

While most people think the Tsunami threat is primarily limited to the Pacific and Indian Ocean, as we've discussed previously (see The Caribbean’s Hidden Tsunami Potential (Revisited), the Caribbean has a long history of volcanic, seismic, and tsunami activity.
In 1995, Montserrat's previously dormant Soufrière Hills volcano sprang to life, destroying the capital city of Plymouth, and rendering half the island uninhabitable.
In 2013 the  USGS warned the Earthquake/Tsunami Hazard in Caribbean Higher Than Previously Thought, stating `Enough strain may be currently stored in an earthquake zone near the island of Guadeloupe to cause a magnitude 8 or larger earthquake and subsequent tsunami in the Caribbean’

The Atlantic seaboard, Florida, and even the Gulf of Mexico are not immune to Tsunamis (see East Coast Tsunami Threats). A list of known or suspected Atlantic Tsunamis includes:
  • November 1, 1755 - Lisbon, Portugal
  • October 11, 1918 - Puerto Rico
  • November 18, 1929 - Newfoundland
  • August 4, 1946 - Dominican Republic
  • August 18, 1946 - Dominican Republic
  • November 14, 1840 - Great Swell on the Delaware River
  • November 17, 1872 - Maine
  • January 9, 1926 - Maine
  • May 19, 1964 - Northeast USA
In 1992, a `rogue wave'  - described by witnesses as being between 10 and 18 feet tall - slammed onto a 27 mile stretch of Florida Beaches (including Daytona Beach) and smashed hundreds of cars and caused as many as 75 (mostly minor) injuries.  

The National Tsunami Hazard Mitigation Program (NTHMP) recognizes  Tsunami Preparedness Week during the last week in March to coincide with the date of the 1964 Great Alaska Earthquake and Tsunamis.

Some states and territories recognize other times of the year, and this year that includes:
  • March 11-17: Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands
  • March 25-30: Alaska
  • March 26-30: California
  • April 1-7: Guam
  • April 9-13: Washington (Roadshow)
  • April: Hawaii
  • September 24-30: American Samoa
  • October: Washington
Other related 2018 preparedness campaigns and activities:

Although truly massive tsunamis don't happen very often, when they do they can produce extremely high mortality, and extensive property and infrastructure damage.
The two biggest ones in recent history are the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami, which killed upwards to 250,000 people, and Japan's 2011 Tōhoku Earthquake/Tsunami which killed in excess of 15,000 people.
While less deadly, Alaska's 1964 earthquake produced significant tsunami effects both locally, and thousands of miles away, killing 5 in Oregon and 13 in California. Chile's 1960 Valdivia earthquake sent a train of tsunamis across the Pacific, causing heavy damage and loss of life in Hawaii, Japan, and beyond (see NOAA Report).

A reminder that large earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, or tsunamis that occur thousands of miles away still have the potential to impact people around the globe.
While you may think it unlikely that a tsunami or an earthquake will affect you or your region - these are just a few of many potential hazards that may threaten you and your community - and they all require similar preparedness steps.
Knowing your local threats, whether they be tsunamis, forest fires, floods, earthquakes or hurricanes  . . . and then becoming prepared to deal with them, will provide you and your family the best safety insurance available.
As far as what to do before a tsunami threatens, READY.GOV has a Tsunami Awareness Page with helpful hints.
Everyone - regardless of where they live -  needs an appropriate disaster plan, just as everyone should have a good first aid kit, a `bug-out bag’, and sufficient emergency supplies to last a bare minimum of 72 hours.
While 72 hours is an admirable start, I wouldn't feel comfortable with it. Here in the United States many agencies and organizations recommend that households work towards having a 10-to-14 day supply of food, water, and emergency supplies on hand.  
For more on  disaster preparedness, I would invite you to visit Ready.gov, FEMA,  or revisit these blogs:
In An Emergency, Who Has Your Back?

An Appropriate Level Of Preparedness

When 72 Hours Isn’t Enough.

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