NOAA 2006-R279
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Theresa Eisenman
12/22/06
NOAA News Releases 2006
NOAA Home Page
NOAA Public Affairs


NOAA INCREASES TSUNAMI WARNING CAPABILITY
FOR THE MOST THREATENED PARTS OF THE UNITED STATES

NOAA announced today the deployment of six new Deep-ocean Assessment and Reporting of Tsunami (DART) stations in the southwest Pacific. The new stations provide increased lead time for tsunami detection to the U.S. coastal areas at most risk of tsunamis traveling long distances, including the coastlines of Hawaii, Alaska, Washington, Oregon, and California.

“We have drastically improved our tsunami detection and warning capability since the Indian Ocean tsunami two years ago,” said retired Navy Vice Adm. Conrad C. Lautenbacher, Ph.D., under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. “These buoys are the latest achievement in an ongoing effort to increase the tsunami program at home and abroad.”

Over the last two years, NOAA expanded the U.S. warning system to include the Atlantic coast, Gulf of Mexico, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The agency has deployed a total of 25 DART tsunameter stations in U.S. waters; installed 15 new and upgraded 33 existing tide stations; completed inundation models for 17 communities; and recognized 26 new TsunamiReady communities. NOAA also hired new employees to fully staff its two tsunami warning centers in Honolulu and Palmer, Alaska, around the clock.

“We have reached our initial operating capability for the Untied States, which is to say we have met our goals of aggressively expanding every facet of the tsunami program,” added Lautenbacher. “Additionally, we have strengthened the Indian Ocean tsunami warning system program.”

NOAA partnered with the government of Thailand to launch the first DART station in the Indian Ocean earlier this month. The DART system is a U.S. contribution that provides real-time tsunami detection as waves travel across open waters. It is the first of 22 tsunameters envisioned for an Indian Ocean regional tsunami warning system through the UNESCO Intergovernmental Ocean Commission. The tsunameters also are part of a larger end-to-end warning system that includes tide gauges, communications upgrades, inundation modeling, and dissemination systems.

In 2007 the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, an agency of the U.S. Commerce Department, celebrates 200 years of science and service to the nation. From the establishment of the Survey of the Coast in 1807 by Thomas Jefferson to the formation of the Weather Bureau and the Bureau of Commercial Fisheries in the 1870s, much of America's scientific heritage is rooted in NOAA.

NOAA is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and information service delivery for transportation, and by providing environmental stewardship of our nation's coastal and marine resources. Through the emerging Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS), NOAA is working with its federal partners, more than 60 countries and the European Commission to develop a global monitoring network that is as integrated as the planet it observes, predicts and protects.

On the Web:

NOAA: http://www.noaa.gov

Tsunamis: http://www.noaa.gov/tsunamis.html

Real-time DART Data: http://www.ndbc.noaa.gov/dart.shtml