Unlike storms that can be tracked days in advance, tsunamis cannot be predicted. This means that tsunami warning centers only have a few hours – at most – to forecast landfall and wave heights.
- A tsunami warning in an area means that a tsunami may be imminent and coastal areas should be prepared for inundation and flooding.
- A tsunami advisory means that dangerous currents are expected. People should stay away from beaches and harbors.
- A tsunami watch is issued in areas outside the warning area that should remain alert for further information.
Viewer Tip: Strange sounds from the ocean or a tide that quickly recedes from the shore can indicate the leading edge of a tsunami wave. If you see these signs, move inland one mile and get 100 feet or more above sea level. If that is not possible, get into a well-constructed building, well above ground floor.
Learn more about tsunamis and find additional preparedness tips at www.tsunami.noaa.gov.