How To Survive A Tsunami: Abandon Belongings, Head For Higher Ground, And Climb A Tree

If you’re anywhere near where a tsunami is expected to hit — the latest is that the tsunami is expected to hit Hawaii at 11:20 local time (4:20 PM ET) — then go check out this guide from the US Geological Survey on surviving a tsunami. (via Marginal Revolution).

Some key points:

  • Abandon your belongings (they’re way less important than your life).
  • Listen to the authorities.
  • Head for higher ground.
  • Climb a tree (if you can’t head for higher ground).
  • Don’t count on roads holding up.
  • Find a sturdy building and head for the roof.
  • Don’t count on it being over after the first wave — the first wave may not even be the biggest.

Here’s a great chart showing the timing of wave impact in Hilo, Hawaii after a Chilean earthquake in 1960.

wave tsunami

Photo: pubs.usgs.gov

And if charts aren’t your thing, here’s a beautiful (and scary) photographic timeseries showing the impact of a tsunami and how fast it can come and cause damage.

wave tsunami

Photo: pubs.usgs.gov

wave tsunami

Photo: pubs.usgs.gov

wave tsunami

Photo: pubs.usgs.gov

wave tsunami

Photo: pubs.usgs.gov

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