Thursday, July 16, 2009

Australian Tsunami Warning Issued

The Joint Australian Tsunami Warning Centre issued a Land Warning for Lord Howe Island at 10:45 PM EST on 15 July 2009 and a Marine Warning for much of south east Australia. This followed an earthquake off the south of New Zealand at 0923Z 15 JUL 2009. The media were requested to use the Standard Emergency Warning Signal (SEWS) for Lord Howe Island, but not mainland Australia.

At 12:14 AM EST on Thursday 16 July 2009 threat for Lord Howe Island was downgraded to a Marine Warning and use of the SEWS cancelled. One anomaly with this was that the message for Lord Howe Island (IDY68035) used different text to those for the mainland (IDY68028). The mainland messages said "Marine Warning", whereas the Lord Howe Island message did not contain that phrase. This may seem a minor point, but a lack of use of standard wording can cause dangerous misunderstandings.

Unlike the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, the Australian Centre does not appear to provide a public archive of issued messages, so I have included two in this posting for research purposes.

For a discussion of warning systems see my "National Bushfire Warning System", Seminar, College of Engineering and Computer Science, ANU, Canberra, 16 April 2009.

** Land and Marine Threat Tsunami Warning is current for Lord Howe Island. **

THERE IS A LAND AND MARINE TSUNAMI WARNING CURRENT FOR LORD HOWE ISLAND.

IDY68034
Australian Government Bureau of Meteorology

MEDIA:
PLEASE USE STANDARD EMERGENCY WARNING SIGNAL (SEWS)
TOP PRIORITY FOR IMMEDIATE AND FREQUENT BROADCAST
********************************************************************************

TSUNAMI WARNING NUMBER 3 FOR LORD HOWE ISLAND
Issued by the Joint Australian Tsunami Warning Centre (JATWC) at
10:45 PM EST on Wednesday 15 July 2009

********************************************************************************

TSUNAMI THREAT TO LOW-LYING COASTAL AREAS AND THE MARINE ENVIRONMENT

********************************************************************************
SUMMARY:

Tsunami warning for LORD HOWE ISLAND.

An undersea earthquake of magnitude 7.9 (Latitude 45.960S Longitude 166.470E )
has occurred at 07:22 PM EST on Wednesday 15 July 2009 near OFF W. COAST OF
S. ISLAND, N.Z..

For low-lying coastal areas there is a threat of MAJOR LAND INUNDATION,
FLOODING, DANGEROUS WAVES AND STRONG OCEAN CURRENTS for several hours from
09:30 pm (EST) Wednesday.

People in affected areas are strongly advised by the NSW STATE EMERGENCY
SERVICE to go to higher ground or at least one kilometre inland.

For all threatened areas, people are advised to get out of the water and move
away from the immediate water’s edge.

Next update will be issued by 11:45 PM EST on Wednesday 15 July 2009

For latest and further information call 1300 TSUNAMI (1300 878 6264) or visit
www.bom.gov.au

********************************************************************************
DETAILS:

TSUNAMI THREAT TO LOW-LYING COASTAL AREAS
A threat of MAJOR LAND INUNDATION, FLOODING, DANGEROUS WAVES AND STRONG OCEAN
CURRENTS exists for several hours from 09:30 pm (EST) Wednesday.

COMMUNITY RESPONSE ADVICE FROM THE NSW STATE EMERGENCY SERVICE:

- The NSW STATE EMERGENCY SERVICE has ordered the evacuation of low-lying parts
of coastal towns and villages.

- People are strongly advised to go to higher ground, at least ten metres
above sea level, or if possible move at least one kilometre away from all
beaches and the water's edge of harbours and coastal estuaries.

- Take only essential items that you can carry including important papers,
family photographs and medical needs.

- It may be in your own interests to walk to safety if possible to avoid
traffic jams.

- If you cannot leave the area take shelter in the upper storey of a sturdy
brick or concrete multi-storey building.

- Boats in harbours, estuaries or shallow coastal water should return to
shore. Secure your boat and move away from the waterfront.

- Vessels already at sea should stay offshore in deep water until further
advised.

- Do not go to the coast to watch the tsunami, as there is the possibility of
dangerous, localised land inundation of the immediate foreshore.

- Check that your neighbours have received this advice.

CAUTION:
Tsunami waves are more powerful than the same size beach waves, with the first
wave not necessarily being the largest.

Low-level effects may be observed in neighbouring coastal areas. People are
advised to take care.

TSUNAMI SOURCE:
An undersea earthquake of magnitude 7.9 (Latitude 45.960S Longitude 166.470E )
has occurred at 07:22 PM EST on Wednesday 15 July 2009 off W. COAST OF S.
ISLAND, N.Z.

Sea level observations have confirmed a tsunami has been generated.

Tsunami has been observed at Spring Bay in TAS at 10:05pm and at Port Kembla in
NSW at 10:06pm.

The NEXT UPDATE will be issued by 11:45 PM EST on Wednesday 15 July 2009

FOR LATEST AND FURTHER INFORMATION:
Call 1300 TSUNAMI (1300 878 6264) or visit www.bom.gov.au

FOR EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE:
Call the NSW STATE EMERGENCY SERVICE on 132 500

********************************************************************************

EST = Eastern Standard Time
CST = Central Standard Time = EST - 30 minutes
WST = Western Standard Time = EST - 2 hours

The JATWC is operated by the Australian Bureau of Meteorology and Geoscience
Australia
********************************************************************************

** Marine Threat Tsunami Warning is current for Norfolk Island. **

THERE IS A MARINE TSUNAMI WARNING CURRENT FOR NORFOLK ISLAND.

IDY68035
Australian Government Bureau of Meteorology

MEDIA:
NO USE OF STANDARD EMERGENCY WARNING SIGNAL (SEWS)
TOP PRIORITY FOR IMMEDIATE AND FREQUENT BROADCAST
********************************************************************************

TSUNAMI WARNING NUMBER 3 FOR NORFOLK ISLAND
Issued by the Joint Australian Tsunami Warning Centre (JATWC) at
01:47 AM NFT on Thursday 16 July 2009

********************************************************************************

TSUNAMI THREAT TO THE MARINE ENVIRONMENT

********************************************************************************
SUMMARY:

Tsunami warning for the marine environment of NORFOLK ISLAND.

An undersea earthquake of magnitude 7.9 (Latitude 45.960S Longitude 166.470E )
has occurred at 07:22 PM EST on Wednesday 15 July 2009 off W. COAST OF S.
ISLAND, N.Z.

Possibility of DANGEROUS WAVES, STRONG OCEAN CURRENTS AND SOME LOCALISED
OVERFLOW ONTO THE IMMEDIATE FORESHORE from now until 2:30am local time
Thursday.

Although major evacuations are not required, people are advised to get out of
the water and move away from the immediate water's edge.

Next update will be issued by 02:47 AM NFT on Thursday 16 July 2009

For latest and further information call 1300 TSUNAMI (1300 878 6264) or visit
www.bom.gov.au

********************************************************************************
DETAILS:

A threat of DANGEROUS WAVES, STRONG OCEAN CURRENTS AND THE POSSIBILITY OF SOME
LOCALISED OVERFLOW ONTO THE IMMEDIATE FORESHORE exists from now until 2:30am
local time Thursday.

COMMUNITY RESPONSE ADVICE FROM THE NORFOLK ISLAND POLICE :

- While major evacuations are not required, people are advised to get out of
the water and move away from the immediate water's edge of harbours, coastal
estuaries, rock platforms and beaches.

- Boats in harbours, estuaries or shallow coastal water should return to
shore. Secure your boat and move away from the waterfront.

- Vessels already at sea should stay offshore in deep water until further
advised.

- Do not go to the coast to watch the tsunami, as there is the possibility of
dangerous, localised flooding of the immediate foreshore.

- Check that your neighbours have received this advice.

CAUTION:
Tsunami waves are more powerful than the same size beach waves, with the first
wave not necessarily being the largest.

Low-level effects may be observed in neighbouring coastal areas. People are
advised to take care.

TSUNAMI SOURCE:
An undersea earthquake of magnitude 7.9 (Latitude 45.960S Longitude 166.470E )
has occurred at 07:22 PM EST on Wednesday 15 July 2009 near OFF W. COAST OF
S. ISLAND, N.Z..

Sea level observations have confirmed a tsunami has been generated.

Tsunami has been observed at Spring Bay in TAS at 10:05pm and at Port Kembla
in NSW at 10:06pm.

Tsunami threat levels are expected to gradually decrease from 2:30am local time
Thursday.

The NEXT UPDATE will be issued by 02:47 AM NFT on Thursday 16 July 2009

FOR LATEST AND FURTHER INFORMATION:
Call 1300 TSUNAMI (1300 878 6264) or visit www.bom.gov.au

FOR EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE:
Call the NORFOLK ISLAND POLICE on 977

********************************************************************************

EST = Eastern Standard Time
CST = Central Standard Time = EST - 30 minutes
WST = Western Standard Time = EST - 2 hours

The JATWC is operated by the Australian Bureau of Meteorology and Geoscience
Australia
********************************************************************************

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