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Finding Higher Ground The Key To Surviving Tsunami

March 16, 2011 by  

Finding higher ground the key to surviving tsunamiThe international community has shifted its attention to Japan in the wake of last week's historic earthquake and tsunami. As of March 14, media reports revealed that the death toll was expected to exceed 10,000 people.

Amidst all of the news of tragedy and devastation, one notable tale of survival surfaced over the weekend. According to CBS News, a 60-year-old man named Hiromitsu Shinkawa was rescued about 10 miles off the northeastern coast of Minamisoma after he clung to a piece of wreckage from the roof of his house.

According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), residents who live near a coast should be prepared for a tsunami after an underwater earthquake. They should move to higher ground, such as a hilltop, before the first wave arrives. The agency says that people must abandon their possessions because any time spent trying to collect one's belongings could make the difference between life or death.

For example, Shinkawa and his wife were swept out to sea when they returned to their home in order to retrieve some of their possessions. Although Shinkawa survived, he believes that his wife was killed.

If people are trapped in their homes and unable to reach higher ground, the USGS suggests that they should go to the highest floor in their home or onto the roof. In the event that the tsunami destroys the residence, the agency urges victims to find something sturdy to climb onto that can stay afloat.  

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  • Jack Taylor

    Having lived and worked beside the people of Japan in the early fifties, I have the utmost admiration, respect and love for them. In the three years I spent with them, I had nothing taken from me and not a hand was raised against me. They are an honest, industrious, hard working people who will clean up and rebuild the devastation caused by the earthquake and tsunami. There is one big problem, money. The politicians have done to the Japanese what our politicians have done to us. Their spend, spend, spend policy has created an enormous debt, but I have no doubt they will pull through. If you have doubts, look at Hiroshima and Nagasaki today after being devastated by the Atomic Bomb.

  • Bus

    Some pretty hard hitting journalism. Duh

  • 45caliber

    I heard of one many years ago that hit Hawaii. The water rolled out to sea to meet the tsunami coming in and left the beach area dry. In fact, a lot of fish were left flopping on the mud. People ran out to catch the fish – and the wave rolled in.

    The point of this tale is that if you see water rushing out to sea, go the opposite direction as fast as you can instead of going out to look around.

  • jopa

    45 cal. That was in 1946 and 165 people died in Hawaii including a bunch of children that ran into the waters to gather the fish.There school house was right on the shore.

  • Carol

    Finding higher ground in such a over populated country is difficult to say the least because as it is they don’t have that much ground to work with in the first place.

  • Carl

    If an underwater volcano such as Marsili (is at a total height of 1400 meters and under 1,000 meters below the surface) that is 15 (kilometers) off the coast were to erupt how large would the waves be? Would there be time to run to a higher ground?


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