Posted: Feb 7, 2013 5:19 PM by Mitch bryan
Updated: Feb 7, 2013 11:31 PM
ROCKPORT - Emergency Managers met in Rockport today to discuss, for the first time, preparations should a tsunami hit the Coastal Bend.
Though the threat of a killer tsunami may seem a world away, John Metz, with the National Weather Service, says there is a possibility it could happen right here in the Coastal Bend.
Chances are, we do not have to worry about a tsunami, being triggered by an earthquake, but there are other potential situations that could create a killer set of waves.
"The realistic threat is more likely a landslide below the surface of the ocean and potentially, an asteroid-type impact," Metz said.
And according to a study by Texas A&M, the Gulf Coast has had underwater landslides in the past.
Luckily none of them big enough to create a tsunami. Metz says that unlike hurricanes, tsunamis rarely offer much time to get out of harm's way or evacuate a coastal town.
Which is why Port Aransas, Chief of Police, Scott Burroughs and other authorities
were full of questions on what to tell citizens, should this happen.
"Are we looking at seconds? Are we looking at minutes? Are we looking at an hour?"
"How do you explain to the public how far is far inland? How high is high enough?"
It's these questions that remain unanswered. And the team has to figure out the plan of action as soon as possible, because Metz says there's no telling when a tsunami like the one that hit Japan is going to strike, until it is already on it's way.
Metz told me, "We really don't have a high level of preparedness right now, but we're just kind of starting the foundation, starting the groundwork. In hopes that we'll have a well-established plan in the future."
If you want to know more about tsunamis and how to survive them, you can check the National Weather Service website, because that information could keep you alive.
"The tsunami threat is real, it's out there. And so, knowing what to do, where ever you are in the world, could save your life," Metz said.
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