Research shows that coastal-living Australians rate the risk of tsunami inundation far lower than other natural hazard risk such as flooding and bushfires. This is the case even though there has been significant destruction wrought by tsunamis in the Asia-Pacific region including the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami and the recent Sulawesi tsunami. There is evidence that the Australian coast may have experienced large tsunami during the past few thousand years.
Molino Stewart has been one of the researchers highlighting the potential risks to the Australian coastline of tsunami and how to warn people of impending danger. We have done extensive research into tsunami warning and one of our staff, Dr Filippo Dall’Osso, has researched and written several articles on the impacts of tsunamis and storm surge on Sydney’s coastal development.
In this issue of Floodplain Manager we report on modelling conducted recently to assess Sydney’s tsunami risk. We also report on a review into existing and theoretical engineering solutions for preventing the impact of deadly tsunamis prompted by the Sulawesi tsunami.
In Australia, tsunami detection and warning is primarily conducted by Geoscience Australia and the Bureau of Meteorology. Geoscience Australia detects earthquakes that have the potential to generate tsunamis that can impact Australia's coastline, and advises the Bureau of Meteorology of this potential within 10 minutes of the earthquake occurring. The Bureau of Meteorology uses its network of sea level monitoring equipment and tsunami propagation models to confirm the existence of a tsunami and estimate its likely impact at the Australian coast. It then issues the relevant tsunami warnings and bulletins for Australia and external territories as required.
Although warned it is questionable what Australians will then do, particularly on a sunny summer’s day when they are at the beach. Nevertheless, emergency agencies around Australia are trying to educate people of the risk and evacuation actions to carry out in relation to a tsunami warning or observation that one is impending. The United Nations is also attempting to raise awareness around the world through its World Tsunami Awareness Day 2018 to be held on 5 November. Read more here.
There were 16 international floods reported across 17 countries throughout October 2018. At least 1,000 people died and over 420,000 people were displaced. Internationally significant floods included: USA A total of 17 people have died and 6,700 displaced after Hurricane Michael tore through the Florida Panhandle. As the hurricane passed […]
The city of Venice was recently inundated by an exceptional high tide as a result of heavy rain and wind. Tourists and locals donned their knee high boots to traverse the flood waters as Venice was essentially transformed into a swimming pool. It wasn’t enough however, to deter the 13,000 runners […]
Citizen science hydrologic data may be beneficial in enhancing models that forecast stream flow. Hydrogeologist Chris Lowry at the University of Buffalo founded the initiative CrowdHydrology in 2011 which uses crowdsourcing to gather hydrologic data. Lowry is now attempting to use the data gathered from CrowdHydrology into the National Water Model to possibly predict floods […]
In a UN 20-year review of the economic losses from climate-related disasters, floods were found to be the most frequent natural disaster followed by storms. The report found that there has also been a significant increase of 151% in direct economic losses due to climate-related disasters. Floods were found to affect […]
A new paper published in Nature Communications suggests that current projections of storm runoff extremes may be underestimated. The study suggests that flash floods due to storm runoff extremes are likely to become more frequent and damaging. This study, unlike previous studies,considers both natural and anthropogenic driven changes in surface temperature and atmospheric […]
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released an alarming report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. The extensive report is presented in five chapters and outlines potential mitigation pathways of the climate scenario, impacts on humans and natural systems, how to strengthen global responses, and […]
New research which was published by the American Meteorological Societyproposed a new scale for calculating storm surge risk. This study comes after storm surge risk was removed from the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale, leaving no method of calculating storm surge risk. The study used the storm surge variables of water height and velocity […]
The tsunami which recently devastated Indonesia’s island province of Sulawesi has prompted review into existing and theoretical engineering solutions for preventing the impact of deadly tsunamis. The most obvious solution which was used by ancient civilisations is to build a wall. Still used in modern engineering, this form of protection has […]
A new study published in Scientific Reports has modelled Sydney’s tsunami risk and the possible consequences if one were to make impact with the Harbour City. The researchers modelled the effects of tsunamis of varying magnitudes and each event was assigned Average Recurrence Intervals (ARI) which indicate how often tsunamis of different sizes […]