• United States



by Dave Gradijan

GAO Report Focuses on Tsunami Preparedness

Jun 05, 20062 mins
CSO and CISOData and Information Security

A new report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that the Pacific coast states of Alaska, California, Oregon, Washington and Hawaii, as well as Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands in the Caribbean Sea, face the greatest tsunami hazard.

According to the report, the east and Gulf coasts are low-hazard areas. However, limited information exists about the impacts of a tsunami on the high-hazard areas.

The report was initiated after the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami struck and concerns were raised about U.S. preparedness.

The report touched on four major topics:

1. Identify the coastal areas facing the greatest hazard and assess the potential impact.

2. Discuss the effectiveness of the current federal tsunami warning system.

3. Describe current efforts to mitigate potential impacts of tsunamis.

4. Assess the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) efforts to develop long-range plans for federal tsunami programs.

The GAO report also pointed out that limitations in the current Emergency Alert System and NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards may impede timely warnings because they are insufficient to transmit warnings to some areas, causing delays and failures to even transmit warnings.

For more on the GAO’s tsunami report highlights, click here.

For the full report, click here.

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By Paul Kerstein