Wednesday, November 15

Tsunami Warning!

Guam was under a tsunami warning for awhile last night after the 8.1 earthquake in Japan. I know that because I saw the headlines today. Fortunately we live on high ground in Mangilao (We may not have water pressure half the time but we don't worry about tsunamis). However, our friends Jeff and Mary Johnson live above the Lutheran Church in Hagatna -- which is right on the beach. They didn't hear about the tsunami warning until today either.

Of course, it didn't really matter because the expected tsunami was only supposed to be 1 foot -- this time. And it never materialized here. But there is something wrong when we don't hear about warnings until the next day -- in the PDN.

A couple of months ago some GovGuam official was tooting his horn because supposedly we're the most disaster-ready place in the US.

If only that were true!

At the very least, the following should have happened Wednesday night:

1) Activation of the emergency alert system to be broadcast over all radio and television stations.

2) Activation of emergency warning sirens along the shoreline.

3) An emergency text-message should have been sent to every active cell phone on the island.

4) Emergency equipment in low-lying areas should have been sent to higher ground.

Perhaps numbers #1 and #4 happened. I don't know. I suspect that there aren't many emergency warning sirens on the island (I haven't heard any tests since I've been here) -- so that rules out #2. And #3 is a service provided (required) in many places around the world but not yet on Guam.

If Wednesday night's "drill" is any indicator -- we aren't really all that ready, yet.
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