Anchorage Participates in Tsunami Awareness Week
Anchorage residents are not at risk of a tsunami impacting the Cook Inlet
Contact: Genevieve Maurits
The Office of Emergency Management is participating in Tsunami Awareness Week through the test of the Alaska Tsunami Warning System. Governor Palin declared the week of March 23, 2008 as Tsunami Awareness Week in which the focal point for the week is the test of the Alaska Tsunami Warning System. Although Anchorage participates in the alert process, the Anchorage Office of Emergency Management stresses that Anchorage residents are not at risk for tsunami developing in the Cook Inlet.
At 9:45am this Wednesday, March 26th the State of Alaska will test the tsunami alert system. Although the message is distributed statewide, as directed by the Federal Communications Commission, the Office of Emergency Management is using this opportunity to educate citizens of Anchorage that they are not at risk of a tsunami developing in the Cook Inlet.
Anchorage threat assessments have always categorized the risk of a tsunami as negligible. In addition, studies by NOAA and USGS indicate that the natural geographical boundaries of Cook Inlet protect Anchorage from a major tsunami.
Currently, much confusion is generated whenever a tsunami warning message is issued through the statewide Emergency Alert System (EAS) due to the fact that the same message is issued for the entire State of Alaska per the Federal Communications Commission EAS guidelines. However, during 1964, Alaska experienced a 9.2 magnitude earthquake. This is the largest earthquake on record for the nation, and the second largest quake measured around the globe. Despite the strength of the quake, it did not generate a tsunami in the Cook Inlet.
“It is our responsibility to educate citizens on how to prepare for all hazards, but we also want to make individuals aware of the city’s potential risks. It is important to know that a tsunami is not a threat that we face here in Anchorage,” said Kattaryna Stiles, Acting Director of the Anchorage Office of Emergency Management.
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