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Tsunami Alert System

  • 13-03-2011 1:10am
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 105 ✭✭ deiseman21


    given whats just happened in japan should we in ireland not be thinking of setting up a warning system here considering the thousands of miles of ocean surrounding us and the fact that there are two tectonic plates colliding in each other half way between america and europe (eurasian and caribbean plates).
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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,822 Morf


    deiseman21 wrote: »
    given whats just happened in japan should we in ireland not be thinking of setting up a warning system here considering the thousands of miles of ocean surrounding us and the fact that there are two tectonic plates colliding in each other half way between america and europe (eurasian and caribbean plates).

    Not colliding. Separating. The Atlantic Ocean is slowly getting wider creating an underwater ridge on which Iceland sits. I imagine it would be a huge waste of money considering the infrequency of tectonic activity in the Atlantic.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 6,093 ✭✭✭ Amtmann


    The last major incident was in 1755 I think. An earthquake destroyed Lisbon and a tsunami caused enormous loss of life along the Iberian coast, in addition to SW England and Galway.

    There's always the threat from the Canaries; but that's about as likely to happen tomorrow as Betelgeuse is to go supernova within our lifetimes.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,581 ✭✭✭ jd


    There was also a small tsunami reported at Kilmore Quay in 1854
    http://books.google.ie/books?id=oHC7AAAAIAAJ&dq=The+earthquake+catalogue+of+the+British+Association&printsec=frontcover&source=bl&ots=2OQ0gLbeWF&sig=bMLp0SxChGdoFUhWQzibkfRUBcM&hl=en&ei=3-wKS8OzJYT14Ab5pJzJCw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CAoQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=kilmore&f=false
    I suspect it may have been caused by a collapse of a gravel bank or similar, given that it was so localised.


    It mentions that there was also a tsunami reported there after the Lisbon Earthquake


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 6,093 ✭✭✭ Amtmann


    Found this:
    More than five years after the Indian Ocean disaster Ireland is finally getting ready to launch its own tsunami early-warning system.

    The technology, which is government funded, will give advance notice, of up to five hours in some cases, if giant waves are caused by phenomena such as earthquakes.

    Scientists plan to fit sirens or loudspeakers at some of the country’s favourite beaches to warn people to move away from the coast if a risk is identified.

    The project, being worked on by the state-funded Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, is part of an international effort led by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco).

    The organisation is aiming to create an early-warning system in the north-eastern Atlantic and the Mediterranean after the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami killed 220,000 people in Asia.

    “When an earthquake occurs in this region we will be able to record the shockwaves and see them in real time,” said Tom Blake an experimental officer at the Dublin Institute.

    “Ultimately, the system could send an automatic text message to our phones which we could then analyse. If an earthquake is a magnitude of 6.5 or more on the Richter scale, we would then decide to issue a tsunami alert. If there was one in the Caribbean, it would take just 11 minutes for us to track the shockwaves in Ireland.”

    While the risk of a tsunami affecting Ireland is considered low, geologists have warned that the country’s position on the Atlantic means the southwest coast would be the first to be hit by tsunamis caused by earthquakes in the Caribbean.

    Giant waves could also reach the country within two-and-a-half hours of a volcanic eruption on the Canary Islands.Research indicates that Ireland was hit by tsunamis on at least three occasions in the past 250 years. In one case, in 1755, waves of eight to 12 metres reached Kinsale after an earthquake in Lisbon in Portugal which killed 70,000 people with an accompanying tsunami.

    The project, which has received €100,000 in state funds so far, is being worked on by the cosmic physics division of the Dublin Institute. The government funding is being used to install four real-time seismic monitoring stations in classified locations around the country, including Galway, the northwest and the southwest, by the end of this year.

    The stations will monitor earthquake activity and will add to information already provided by two stations, at Met Eireann’s Valentia observatory in Kerry and one near Dublin that the institute runs for Germany.

    The project, being overseen by the Geological Survey of Ireland, will also require the Marine Institute to fit four of its 20 tidal gauges with sensors to detect tsunamis. The gauges are currently dotted around the coast and are generally used to measure tides.

    According to Brian McConnell, a senior geologist at the Geological Survey, gauges at the four corners of Ireland, at Malin Head, Castletownbere, Galway Bay and Dublin Bay are the most likely to be used.

    Data from both sources will be sent to a centre in one of the yet undetermined countries taking part in the North Eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean Tsunami Warning System being formed by Unesco. The centre will pull together information from all its member countries and then send warnings out to Met Eireann and its counterparts in each country.

    Geologists are monitoring the Cumbre Vieja volcano in La Palma in the Canary Islands after scientists found a threat of a large chunk of the volcano collapsing into the sea, kicking off a mega tsunami. Such an occurrence could send waves of up to 15 metres high to Ireland in about six hours.

    Furthermore, a landslide risk exists off our own western seaboard along the edge of our continental shelf, McConnell said.

    With the new system, Irish authorities would have four hours’ notice if an earthquake occurred in Portugal again and five hours if one struck the Caribbean. Tsunami travel at about the same speed as a 747 aircraft, according to Blake.
    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/ireland/article7127829.ece


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 1,698 Mod ✭✭✭✭ star gazer


    The detection of the earthquakes themselves is in place Met.ie Valentia detection of Japanese earthquake DIAS
    It is hard to figure out what has actually been implemented along the other lines described in that article. Geological Society of Ireland
    There would need to be some effort to inform people what to do in the event of getting a tsunami warning to increase its effectiveness.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 5,278 ✭✭✭ dowlingm


    Does Ireland have the facility to force all mobile operators to broadcast an SMS to all subscribers?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 108 ✭✭ eia340600


    There's a €100,000 that could have been spent on something useful
    gone down the drain :rolleyes:.
    dowlingm wrote: »
    Does Ireland have the facility to force all mobile operators to broadcast an SMS to all subscribers?

    There was talk from Eamon Ryan of this about a year ago, but as far as I know nothing has happened.


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 1,698 Mod ✭✭✭✭ star gazer


    It would be great if the warning system was never used and may never even be needed in the 21st century but there are small risks of serious events. It is difficult to measure that risk though as history may not be a good guide to future events. It would seem prudent to use a relatively modest sum to make a big difference if there is a large or even a small wave to hit somewhere along the Irish coast.
    There was some talk about the emergency sms ability but i don't think anything solid has been announced yet. That would be useful in many other emergency situations and not just this type.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,278 ✭✭✭ dubhthach


    Well the scenario often put forward for a Tsunami (mega-tsunami) in the North Atlantic is to do with partial collapse of La Palma island in the Canaries if there is a volcanic eruption. A major fault line developed on the island in 1949 during the eruption that year. It's theorised that half the volcano could slip into the Atlantic if there was a major eruption in the future. Result would be a 50 meter wave hitting the Caribbean/East Coast US. Such a scenario would devastate most of the coast of Ireland.

    Of course it might never happen.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 185 ✭✭ oharach


    Of course it would wash away any hope of a Western Rail Corridor extension. And maybe a few Healy-Raes. Let's look on the positives, eh?


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 6,093 ✭✭✭ Amtmann


    dubhthach wrote: »
    Of course it might never happen.

    From watching the BBC documentary, I think all geologists interviewed are absolutely certain that it will happen. The question is when. The feeling is that it will happen relatively soon (in geological terms). Any waves generated would reach the Irish coast within three hours. The US coast would bear the lion's share of the carnage that would ensue, however.

    There are also other places of danger, such as the area that generated the 1755 Lisbon Earthquake, and there's also the possibility of an earthquake in the Caribbean sending a tsunami to Europe.

    I think it's fair to say that a large tsunami striking Ireland would potentially destroy much of Cork, Limerick and Galway and cause tens of thousands of deaths. It would make our current worries seem very trivial indeed.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,581 ✭✭✭ jd


    There is also the possibility of more localised events due to submarine landslides on gravel banks etc.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,668 ✭✭✭ Frynge


    for the most part is ireland not a fairly high sitting landmass


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,278 ✭✭✭ dubhthach


    Frynge wrote: »
    for the most part is ireland not a fairly high sitting landmass

    Well I've often heard Ireland's geology described as "bowl-like". Eg plenty of mountains/high points around the coast (rim) and fairly flat interior. If La Palma did spawn a tidal wave that was 50 metres high hitting NY then it could potentially be higher hitting south coast of Ireland (shorter distance). For example in Galway, Loch Corrib is only 6metres above sea level.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 7,221 BrianD


    The Irish Times reported on Saturday that Ireland has 4 seismic stations and a 5th one is to be installed in Wexford. All detected the Sendai quake 12 min after it happened.

    We do have (or had) an emergency broadcast system through the local radio network. Don't know if the mobile operators have a system in place for messaging. It would make sense if they did.

    Japan also has what they call "earthquake radio" in homes - it's a grey box that public announcements and warnings are made. These seem to be mounted on the wall and connected to the mains (to be constantly charged). Can't recall if you could remove them if you had to evacuate.

    Fortunately, we seem to be a country that is not a high risk natural disaster area nor do we have deadly creatures. Apart from ourselves of course.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,975 ✭✭✭ Chris_5339762


    Tremelo wrote: »
    From watching the BBC documentary, I think all geologists interviewed are absolutely certain that it will happen. The question is when. The feeling is that it will happen relatively soon (in geological terms). Any waves generated would reach the Irish coast within three hours. The US coast would bear the lion's share of the carnage that would ensue, however.

    There are also other places of danger, such as the area that generated the 1755 Lisbon Earthquake, and there's also the possibility of an earthquake in the Caribbean sending a tsunami to Europe.

    I think it's fair to say that a large tsunami striking Ireland would potentially destroy much of Cork, Limerick and Galway and cause tens of thousands of deaths. It would make our current worries seem very trivial indeed.

    Limerick and Galway would be gone but Cork would probably survive. Given the shape of the harbour the wave would spread out within it. You'd get big waves, but not HUGE waves.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,630 Plowman


    This post has been deleted.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 6,093 ✭✭✭ Amtmann


    This is the BBC documentary I mentioned above:











  • Registered Users Posts: 96 ✭✭✭ Hoof Hearted


    At least if a map showing safe areas to head for if 1. a La Palma mega tsunami scenario and 2. for a Caribbean scenario.

    I would guess the West coast would be most impacted by scenario 2. and South coast for scenario 1. above, but I really don't know the tsnuami wraparound affects...i.e. would Dublin be impacted far less by a Caribbean mega tsunami?

    I wonder how accurate the tsunami computer models are in predicting impacted areas now that we have had 2 major tsunamis in recent history.


  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 61,043 Mod ✭✭✭✭ L1011


    BrianD wrote: »
    We do have (or had) an emergency broadcast system through the local radio network.

    I don't remember hearing anything about it being taken down, it was last tested in late 2008 to my knowledge.

    I remember instructions inside old OSI road atlas listing the stations to listen to in an emergency - Radio 1, 2FM or Atlantic 252!


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  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 25,234 ✭✭✭✭ Sponge Bob


    We should have a tsunami warning system on the Atlantic but as PART of an EU scale system. Apart from mid atlantic ridge earthquakes we are also at risk from events such as a big lump of the continential shelf falling off ....which is what caused the "Newfoundland Earthquake" of 1929 and the associated Tsunami which killed 100s of people in a sparsely populated area. A similar event occured on the North sea 100s of years back , the Storegga Slide. These events are potentially catastrophic to Ireland given that so much of our population and economic activity is close to or one the coast. The Storegga slide produced sediment that went as much as 80km inland in Scotland....their east coast being rather flat ...imagine what a new one would do to Holland :(

    A system need but text people whose mobile phones were 'seen' in areas close to the coast and remind them to make their way upwards and inland. Anybody who gets to a point 20m above sea level...no matter how close to the coast....will be physically safe.

    To ensure it works anybody whose mobile phone was not 'seen' in an affected area will have to be knocked off the network temporarily in case the demand overwhelms the mobile phone networks.

    There is noting really complicated about it, a tsunami alert system detects a seismic event and calculates impact and warning patterns. We just don't have a protocol for taking over the mobile networks to manage such an event.

    See


    http://earthquakescanada.nrcan.gc.ca/histor/20th-eme/1929/1929-eng.php
    On November 18, 1929 at 5:02 pm Newfoundland time, a major earthquake occurred approximately 250 km south of Newfoundland along the southern edge of the Grand Banks. This magnitude 7.2 tremor was felt as far away as New York and Montreal (see isoseismal map of felt area below). On land, damage due to earthquake vibrations was limited to Cape Breton Island where chimneys were overthrown or cracked and where some highways were blocked by minor landslides. A few aftershocks (one as large as magnitude 6) were felt in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland but caused no damage.
    The earthquake triggered a large submarine slump (an estimated volume of 200 cubic kilometres of material was moved on the Laurentian slope) which ruptured 12 transatlantic cables in multiple places (locations of cable breaks can be seen as small red triangles on the isoseismal map) and generated a tsunami (a large induced sea wave). The tsunami was recorded along the eastern seaboard as far south as South Carolina and across the Atlantic Ocean in Portugal.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 7,221 BrianD


    MYOB wrote: »
    I don't remember hearing anything about it being taken down, it was last tested in late 2008 to my knowledge.

    I remember instructions inside old OSI road atlas listing the stations to listen to in an emergency - Radio 1, 2FM or Atlantic 252!

    There was a test in '08 or '09 in the wee hours of the morning. The test went well. The system was based on information being sent out centrally through the now defunct INN. Never heard if the arrangement was renewed with the two news suppliers - Newstalk and UTV.

    The plan was full of holes starting with the fact that INN was using commercial satellite equipment in an office building, how would staff get through, say, Garda cordons to their station. I think it was as well meaning as the Iodine tablet distribution.


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 1,698 Mod ✭✭✭✭ star gazer


    unesco.org There was a test of the Tsunami early warning and mitigation system for the North East Atlantic, Mediterranean and connected seas (NEAMTWS)
    The test involved the Tsunami Warning Focal Points of 31 countries* in the region. They received a test message at 10.36 UTC via electronic mail, fax and the Global Telecommunications System (GTS)** from the Kandilli Observatory and Earthquake Research Institute (KOERI, Turkey). Early results show the messages were well received within a few minutes of being sent.
    It might now mean that the Irish group working on a national level on this will now reconvene although there is more work to be done on the broader warning system. It is the kind of thing that could be ignored for a lifetime but if a tsunami were to affect parts of Ireland there would be a lot of regret. A key point of a warning system is that people know what to do when they get an early warning of a tsunami.
    gsi.ie
    GSI represents Ireland in this group [NEAMTWS]. In parallel with this process, GSI coordinates a multi-agency technical group to develop the Irish contribution to NEAMTWS and a proposal for a national warning system. The group comprises GSI, the Marine Institute, Met Eireann, Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies and the Department of the Environment. Currently, this group is awaiting resolution of issues on the international architecture of NEAMTWS and will reconvene when these are clear.


  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 20,995 Mod ✭✭✭✭ bk


    Interesting to note that the next version of the iPhone OS (iOS 5) will have earthquake early warnings from their monitoring centers built directly into the phone.

    Pity this tech can't be extended all around the world. Preferably based on your location via GPS (if you happened to be holidaying abroad, etc.)


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,278 ✭✭✭ dubhthach


    bk wrote: »
    Interesting to note that the next version of the iPhone OS (iOS 5) will have earthquake early warnings from their monitoring centers built directly into the phone.

    Pity this tech can't be extended all around the world. Preferably based on your location via GPS (if you happened to be holidaying abroad, etc.)

    That's specifically for Japan though, nearly all the mobile phones sold in Japan provide the same service. iPhone had some stopgap way of doing it using an app. This upgrade will actually tie into Japanese warning system and be part of base OS.


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