Preparing for Tsunamis in Boston

A massive earthquake struck the Pacific Ocean floor in 2011. The resulting thirty-three foot tsunami wave took out the entire north-west coast of Japan, killing many and wiping out homes and businesses alike for up to six miles in-land.

A similar earthquake struck near the Indian Ocean. The quake measured an 8.9 on the Richter scale, putting up 30 foot waves.

This tsunami was reported to move as fast as a jet. It traveled hundreds of miles to the coast-lines of the Indian Ocean.

It also travelled several miles inland killing by the hundreds of thousands. Tsunamis are caused by earthquakes under the water.

Two tectonic plates rub together roughly. Combined with the intense pressure that comes from plate thousands of miles in diameter, that small rub forces an eventual shift of one of the two plates.

The shift causes a great rumbling along the plate, starting an earthquake. When the earthquake occurs underwater, it violently pushes water in two directions away from the fault line.

Just as if you gave a tightly packed crowd a violent push, all the water pushed away from a tectonic plate is forced forward. As the water approaches dry land, the ocean’s floor rises.

The moving water is forced upward, forming a wave. That wave is pushes inland until all the energy from the earthquake is depleted, and the water can seep again back into the ocean.

The force of this fast moving water inflicts catastrophic damage to the coastlines: destroying trees, homes and living organisms. Residents that live on the coastline need to be informed and ready for a tsunami.

This includes residents of Boston. Tsunamis are an advanced form of water damage that are completely unpredictable and they lay waste to everything in their path.

If an earthquake were to strike close to the Boston coast, residents would need to be able to react immediately.

A wave could be upon them in a matter of minutes. Here are a few things you can do to prepare yourself.

If you feel a strong earthquake, begin to act immediately. Do not wait for an official warning.

Move to higher ground. If there is none, book it inland.

Once you feel you’ve reached a safer position, turn on the radio or TV and find out if there is a tsunami on the way. Depending on your area, the news will direct you as to where you should go to seek safety.

For Boston residents they would likely tell you to flee north-west since the greatest threat would come from the south-east. In the area of protecting your property, short of building a bunker out of thick steel and concrete, there is not much you can do to protect your belongings from such a disaster.

Insurance companies offer coverage for tsunami disasters. They can replace or compensate you for possessions damaged in a tsunami.

Tsunamis can happen in the blink of an eye. Be sure to think carefully about your best escape should you feel an earthquake strike close to the coast.

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