Tsunami and earthquake training held in Tumon - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Tsunami and earthquake training held in Tumon

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 by Allyson Chiu

Guam - The island is now one step closer to being prepared for any natural disaster.

In lieu of all the inclement weather the island has been experiencing, Guam Homeland Security in partnership with the National Weather Service and the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center held its annual Natural Disaster Training Workshop at the Westin, this time focusing on tsunamis.

Guam Homeland Security public information officer Dee Cruz said, "So this year it's El Nino, so we're going to have a lot of storms coming up. As you know we had Tropical Storms 8,9,and 10 just recently. But we just want the island prepared for all natural disasters but we would like to not cram all the training in one, we'd like to spread out. We'd rather be prepared in the beginning than after an event should happen."

The training targeted members of local government agencies, the Department of Defense, other federal partners, telecommunication groups, and security organizations. "So what we did, we wanted to get the public information officers along with folks who would actually be first responders in this meeting and it's a very successful training and we have a very full house so we're appreciative of the National Weather Service and Tsunami Pacific Center," said Cruz.

Additionally the National Weather Service invited Dr. Nathan Becker, an oceanographer with the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center to participate in the training, who said, "My part is to supply scientific background on how tsunamis behave the earthquakes that cause them why they do that. How the tsunamis work and also roll out the new products themselves and give some examples. And this afternoon we're going to do some little exercises to help people understand what they mean.

"Basically we have a new domestic product. It used to be when we issued tsunami warnings for this part of the world Guam and the CNMI were included in our international product. We're now going to be creating a customized product just for this part of the world. It will be in your time zone it'll have a lot more forecast points for your coast lines and generally just a lot more information geared specifically for this part of the world."

Despite the training, Guam has already made preparations for the possibility of tsunamis as many residents have seen tsunami evacuation signs along the roads. Dr. Becker said, "It's going to happen someday, we just don't know when so all we can do is just prepare for it."

For more information on how to prepare for storms and other natural disasters visit http://ghs.guam.gov.  
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