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Derek Bullock
18-01-2005, 05:05 AM
RESS RELEASE

Environment, Local Government, Planning & Women, Desley Boyle

14/01/05


EPA detects Asian tsunami on tide gauges

A day after the earthquake that caused the 2004 Asian tsunami, the Environmental Protection Agency's network of storm tide gauges detected increased sea levels off the Queensland coast Environment Minister Desley Boyle said today.

Ms Boyle said the gauges were in place to measure storm tides but also were capable of measuring tsunami events.

Ms Boyle said: "People will be surprised to hear that the tsunami registered along Queensland's East Coast.

"After the enormous devastation of the tsunami in Asia, the wave first travelled around Australia's western and southern coasts and then northwards to Queensland.

"Luckily for us it was barely a ripple - about 0.25m - just slightly higher than usual," Ms Boyle said.

EPA Coastal Sciences Manager David Robinson said: "Tide gauges recorded the Asian tsunami down the West Australian coast, in Victoria and Tasmania and NSW.

"About one day after the earthquake, as the wave moved north it was observed at our gauges off Caloundra, Mooloolaba, Burnett Heads, Rosslyn Bay and Mackay.

"Observations were also recorded at the Gold Coast Seaway gauge operated by Maritime Safety Queensland.

"The Queensland gauges recorded maximum fluctuations of about 0.25m. Around Australia, gauges recorded fluctuations of up to over 1.0m, with the highest being at Geraldton in Western Australia..

"Sea level fluctuations were also recorded on tide gauges across the Pacific Ocean, including 0.5m in Peru and 0.65m in New Zealand.

"Although tsunamis are not generally considered a threat to Queensland, storm tides are.

"This insidious form of coastal flooding from the sea usually comes from such events as tropical cyclones, and can cause major damage and loss of life. For example, according to the World Meteorological Organisation, winds coupled with a storm tide caused by a cyclone that struck Bangladesh in November 1970 killed between 300,000 and 500,000 people.

"Typically, most deaths from cyclones occur as a result of drowning from the storm tide. The worst recorded example in Queensland was a massive 14.6m surge in 1899 at Bathurst Bay on Cape York Peninsula when 307 lives were known to be lost.

"The EPA's 23 storm tide gauges from Caloundra to Karumba are an important part of the warning system and also help with coastal planning," he said.

"The value of the storm tide network cannot be overstated, particularly as Queensland's coastal strip is one of the fastest developing urban areas in Australia."

A fact sheet about the 2004 Asian tsunami and related tide gauge readings is at
http://www.epa.qld.gov.au/environmental_management/coast_and_oceans/waves_and_tides/wave_monitoring/wave_monitoring_publications/

Media contact:
Louise Foley 3227 8819

NQCairns
18-01-2005, 05:21 AM
Good post Derek!


Typically, most deaths from cyclones occur as a result of drowning from the storm tide. The worst recorded example in Queensland was a massive 14.6m surge in 1899 at Bathurst Bay on Cape York Peninsula when 307 lives were known to be lost.

Crikey!! does anyone know what actually happens when a 15m storm surge hits? A person has to travel a long way inland to ascend 15m in many areas along the QLD north coast. ???

fishsmith
18-01-2005, 02:35 PM
Tis why we have Castle hill here in Townie

Dug
18-01-2005, 03:54 PM
There are going to be a LOT of soggy homes if that happens here. Mine included.

I have a bug out plan and backup emergency escape route. If you live in coastal Queensland it is something you should think about.

I have a cousin who lives up on a hill in a bushfire area. If we get time, we head for her place in case of floods, in case of a fire they head down here.

It is to late to start planning when it is happening.

Dug
18-01-2005, 04:02 PM
The whole of coastal Queensland is at risk of cyclones and storm surge, with some areas more vulnerable than others.

Destructive storm surges don't happen very often, but as our coastal population grows the risk increases.

In 1899 at Bathurst (near Cape York) a massive storm surge killed over 300 people.

In 1918 a storm surge inundated Mackay, drowning 13 people and damaging or destroying as many as 1000 homes.

Since then we've been lucky. There have been a number of close calls such as Cyclone Althea in 1971 which produced a 2.8 metre storm surge in Townsville. Thankfully it crossed the coast near low tide so there was only minor flooding. If Althea had struck just five hours later on the high tide a tragedy could have occurred.

DICER
18-01-2005, 06:52 PM
Sure storm surges are generally a threat, - but I think we have ample time to evacuate with current technology and data for cyclones and storm surges. However I think that it's a deception to say that Tsunamis are not a threat to queensland or Australia!!

We do have the great barrier reef, Frazer and the Moreton bay Islands to mitigate some of the force here in Queensland, though on the otherhand it would appear that there is great pre-historic evidence of Tsunamis for the length of the eastern Australian coast (ie. before white settlement). Other data, for instance, show Tsunamis debri many kilometers inland in Western Australia. Emphasizing this further, the timescale for a Tsunami warning has to be in the minutes.

While it's still fresh in our minds, pressure should be mounting for Tsunami warning centres along Australia's coastlines, in addition to that of the Pacific Tsunami warning centre.

Have a look at the date when the following article was posted on the net....some people have done prior research!! At the time that came out, people would have said "oh it probably won't happen"

http://www.rense.com/general20/comingonedayg.htm

The same applies to the Altantic and La Palma Islands (or Mediterranean). NSF funding (US goverment) snagged on a road block a couple of years ago when the Atlantic case was put forward. UNESCO came to the fore a put some money forward in 2002. Only recent events driven the US goverment new initiative.

Engage the Australian goverment to expand the tidal monitoring system and include further elements for Tsunami warning.

DICER

Needmorerum
18-01-2005, 07:24 PM
I have a bug out plan and backup emergency escape route. If you live in coastal Queensland it is something you should think about.


It is to late to start planning when it is happening.


Gotta agree, my old man lives on a beach just south of Mackay. He has exclusive beach frontage, he launch's one of his two boat via tractor, straight over the dunes in front of the house. Well he goes up a couple of blocks and onto the beach that way, he refuses to damage the dunes in front of the house.
As the front of the house downstairs has sliding glass doors, he has made up some guards for the doors, (which are attached by large stainless dyna bolts), to protect them in case of storm surge. It's forward thinking like this, that may just save the house, and/or some of their belongings if the minor of the worse may happen. He also has a box of gear, with clothes, money, old camera, copy of marriage certificates, and so forth, easy to grab, in case they need to leave in a hurry.
Since Sept 11, and after our house got struck by lightening, we have done the same. I have scans of all our birth certificates, marriage certificates (not sure why), bank account details, insurance, and photo's on CD's which I have given copies to my old man, and my mother-in-law, just in case something turns belly up.

Corry

PS. Below is a photo taken from the Balcony, God I wish I could retire.

Dug
19-01-2005, 02:47 PM
If anything happens to your old man do you inherit the house? [smiley=angel.gif]