Friday 28 November 2014

Experts warn of potential tsunami risks for Ireland

Published 04/02/2014 | 09:29

Experts have advised that Ireland invest in an early warning tsunami system because of the dangers posed by fault lines around the Atlantic Ocean.

That such an event could happen here isn’t that unlikely, Tom Blake, Dublin Institute of Advanced Studies told RTE in the attached video clip.

“We’re in Ireland; we’re surrounded by the Atlantic; you have magnitude 6 earthquakes in the Caribbean, in the Azores and on the Mid-Atlantic bridge ”.

“Any one of them could create a tsunami at any time,” he said.

An early warning system installed here would be in Ireland’s interests, so that, if a tsunami were to happen, people would have time to evacuate regions in the lowest lying areas.

The footage looks to safety measures adopted by Japan following the devastation caused by the tsunami that hit almost three years ago.

The magnitude 9 quake and subsequent tsunami killed 16,000 and caused €24bn in damage.

The Japanese government says it learned many lessons and are better prepared for inevitable future quakes.

It has placed 30 observatories on the ocean floor, for example, which sends real time data to scientists about the earth’s moving plates.

And one of those researchers, who was in Dublin yesterday, said that the information will help people in Japan – and also neighbouring countries.

“Our science and technology will provide these countries for disaster mitigation,” Dr Yoshiyuki Kaneda, Japanese Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology.

In the future, it is expected that such early warning systems will link in with smartphone technology so that they can warn people – not only that there’s a tsunami, when it’s coming and when it’s going to arrive – but where best to go to get shelter.

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