National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration
United States Department of Commerce


FY 1990

On mitigating rapid onset natural disasters: Project THRUST (Tsunami Hazards Reduction Utilizing Systems Technology)

Bernard, E.N., R.R. Behn, G.T. Hebenstreit, F.I. González, P. Krumpe, J.F. Lander, E. Lorca, P.M. McManamon, and H.B. Milburn

In Proceedings of Workshop XLVI, The 7th U.S.-Japan Seminar on Earthquake Prediction, USGS Open-File Report 90-98, Menlo Park, CA, 12–15 September 1988, 125–130 (1990)

Rapid onset natural hazards have claimed more than 2.8 million lives worldwide in the past 20 years. This category includes such events as earthquakes, landslides, hurricanes, tornados, floods, volcanic eruptions, wildfires, and tsunamis. Effective hazard mitigation is particularly difficult in such cases, since the time available to issue warnings can be very short or even nonexistent. This paper presents the concept of a local warning system that exploits and integrates the existing technologies of risk evaluation, environmental measurement, and telecommunications. We describe Project THRUST, a successful implementation of this general, systematic approach to tsunamis. The general approach includes pre-event emergency planning, real-time hazard assessment, and rapid warning via satellite communication links.

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