Puerto Rico Tsunami Project
The danger of a tsunami in Puerto Rico is real. Since 1867, two tsunamis have affected their coastal region, causing death and destruction in 1867 and 1918. Although the source of the historical tsunamis have been local earthquakes, could also be generated by regional and distant earthquakes, landslide and much less likely (in the case of Puerto Rico) by a volcanic eruption or the impact of an object from sky. There is the tsunami threat in other parts of the Caribbean according to the National Geophysical Data Center (NGDC). Since 1996, we have been trying to establish a Tsunami Warning Center for Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands. In Puerto Rico, efforts have been coordinated under the Tsunami Warning and Mitigation Program at the University of Puerto Rico Mayagüez (UPRM), while region efforts have been coordinated by IOCARIBE (Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission, from UNESCO).
The Tsunami Warning and Mitigation Program consists of six tasks:
- Develop of tsunami flood and evacuation maps for Puerto Rico.
- Education about this “forgotten hazard”.
- Local (Puerto Rico) and regional (Caribbean) seismic wave form analysis for rapid determination of earthquake source parameters.
- Development of tsunami warning and advisories protocols.
- Preparation of a Atlantic and Caribbean Historical Tsunami Database.
- Participation in the meetings of the USA National Tsunami Hazard Mitigation Program.