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Re: Philosophical Discussion

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(Re: the Tsunami issue)

I only saw Shafat's message on the tidal wave of joke protests. 
Even if an economic study should show it was more economical to relocate
everything now, there are at least two problems with the motivation to take
this action:

One is the unpersuasive nature of the threat. A maximum credible event is
not a commonplace, imminent thing, and even if it were as credible as the
name suggests, the 30m tsunami is merely a "potential" result of it. 

The next problem is that people don't like to be uprooted on the strength of
predictions made by experts who come to help. They would rather take their
chances of suffering an act of (you know who, can't mention Him here) than
suffer orders from a human in authority.

Even where no expert predictions are necessary, as at Hilo, Hawaii, where
tsunamis have sloshed half the town away twice in the last 53 years, people
return and rebuild the old site. 

This is an interesting public policy issue, but not an engineering one. Kind
of like smoking in public places not being a problem for doctors to decide.
PS   Now I find Shafat's message, but in the Trash bin. I had deleted it
unread because the subject entry USGS,etc., stimulated no interest. 

Charles O. Greenlaw

At 07:57 PM 7/19/98 -0700, you wrote:
>I'm sure you all saw Shafat's message regarding the New Guinea
>earthquake.   ......

>Recent studies for the California North Coast area (California-Oregon
>Border) indicate the potential for a 30 m (approx. 90 ft) tsunami
>resulting from a maximum credible event at the "tripple junction" not
>far off shore from Eureka, California.  .........

>....... Wholesale relocation of businesses and residences is an
>expensive proposition.  But is it more economical to relocate now, or
>wait until the event occurs and have to do it when people have lost
>I will be very anxious to hear opinions on this topic.  We readily
>address seismic design issues, and tsunamis are a part of the seismic
>hazard.  Opinions?
>Rick Ranous
>Governor's Office of Emergency Services