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Newsroom a buzz about big shake up!

by Dave Salesky

Posted on November 14, 2007 at 10:07 AM

Updated Wednesday, Nov 4 at 2:47 PM

This morning our newsroom was a buzz about the 7.7 magnitude earthquake off the coast of Chile and Argentina. A tremor that size can cause a lot of damage and injury. A quake that close to the coast can also generate a big tsunami wave! Briefly a tsunami warning was issued for Chile, Argentina even Hawaii! Along the Oregon and Washington Coast a tsunami advisory was issued.

Below is a map showing travel times for tsunami waves across the Pacific Ocean. It would take 12 to 14 hours for a wave to reach Oregon from Chile. Each one of the colored bands equals about one hour travel time.


Briefly the newsroom was a buzz the question -- Tsunami Advisory for the Oregon Coast. Is a wave headed our way? In a word the answer is no.

The Tsunami Warning Center has four categories levels of alerts for a tsunami.

1. Tsunami Warning: The highest level of tsunami alert. Warnings are issued when there is an imminent threat of a tsunami due to a large undersea earthquake. Warnings advise people to take immediate action to protect themselves from a tsunami.

2. Tsunami Watch: Second highest level of alert. Watches are issued to provide advance alert that an area could be impacted by a tsunami wave. A watch is issued based on seismic information without confirmation of a wave.

3. Tsunami Advisory: Third level of alert. Advisories are issued when a watch or warning has been issued for another region in the same ocean. An advisory means that some " non- destructive sea level changes may occur." An advisory can be upgraded to a watch or warning if conditions warrant.

4. Information Statement: Fourth level of alert. A statement is issued advising an earthquake has occured. In most cases the statement indicates there's no threat of a destructive wave.

Below is a link for more information on tsunami waves:

Dave Salesky
Meteorologist KGW-TV