Tsunamis are potentially devastating waves that can follow seismic events are threats to any coastal region. Florida has 1,197 miles of coastline, more than any of the lower 48 States. Since most tsunamis are associated with major earthquakes, the possibility of a tsunami impacting the Atlantic or Gulf Coasts of Florida is considered to be remote -- but it is not impossible. The Atlantic Ocean basin is not ringed by large faults as is the Pacific, which is associated both with earthquakes and tsunamis. It is thought that rare underwater landslides would pose a greater risk in the Atlantic Ocean. However, because of the horrific tsunami that impacted Southeast Asia in December 2004 and in recognition of the fact that a tsunami occurrence is possible, the Federal government has decided to expand its warning system to include the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts of the United States.
What could cause a Florida tsunami?
The Puerto Rico Trench
Cumbre Vieja Volcano in the Canary Islands
Rogue Waves - not tsunamis, but still dangerous
- If you feel an earthquake or observe a sudden outgoing tide, evacuate the beach immediately, beyond the 300-foot danger zone (typically inland of coastal roadways).
- If evacuation of danger zone is not possible, move to the highest floor (at least 15 feet high) of a well-constructed building
- Never go to the beach to watch for a tsunami.
- WHEN YOU CAN SEE THE WAVE, YOU ARE TOO CLOSE TO ESCAPE.
- Tsunamis can move faster than a person can run!