The surface of the Earth plummets deeper than 35,000 feet in the Mariana Trench and reaches up to the lofty heights of the Himalaya mountain range. The rest of our planet exists somewhere in between. Every hill, coral reef, dance contest, and disappointing vacation takes place at some point between these two extremes. This amazing graph by NOAA and NASA details some of the more significant earthly markers in height and depth, such as the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, the resting place of the RMS Titanic, and the highest peak – Mt. Everest.
It was planned long before the earthquake-turned-tsunami event in Japan to test the readiness of 33 Caribbean countries in the region’s first full-scale tsunami warning exercise. On Wednesday, March 23, a fictitious earthquake of 7.6 magnitude occurred off the coast of the U.S. Virgin Islands. Bulletins were issued by the West Coast/Alaska Tsunami Warning Center for Puerto Rico and the Virgin Island and by the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Ewa Beach, Hawaii for the rest of the area and the test was underway.
The Caribbean tsunami test, named Caribe Wave 11 did not involve communities but aimed to test the effectiveness of alert, monitoring and warning systems among all the emergency management organizations throughout the region. The test was designed to determine whether Caribbean countries are ready to respond in the event of a dangerous tsunami. Results will be reported in April.
“The earthquake and tsunami that have devastated Japan have shown how essential alert systems are,” said Irina Bokova, UNESCO’s director general.
The countries that attended the tsunami alert exercise are: Aruba, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, France (Martinique, Guadeloupe, St. Martin, Guyane), Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Netherlands (Bonaire, Saba, Sint Eustatius, Curacao and Sint Marteen), Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, United Kingdom (Anguilla, British Virgin Islands, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Montserrat, Turks and Caicos), and the United States.
Over the past 500 years, there have been 75 tsunamis in the Caribbean, which is about 10 percent of the world total during that period, according to the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
Tsunamis caused by earthquakes, landslides or volcanoes have caused 3,5000 deaths in the region since the mid-1800s
We already posted about a big upcoming snow storm heading to the Midwest and beyond – and yes – we know that people in New York are under the assumption that their snow storm was worse than anything ever seen in the whole history of the world. But this image from the NOAA GOES-13 satellite shows just how much snow is on the way.
With reports of blizzards carrying as much as 22 inches into the area in a 24 hour period, flying through any of the Midwest airports in the coming couple of days seems like a really bad idea. Thankfully, airlines have already started issuing change waivers.