- 8. PRELIMINARY RECOMMENDATIONS.
- 1) There should be no relocation of people in locales which
are fronted by water and backed by rivers or lagoons. Memorials
should be built at the worst stricken locales to remind future
inhabitants of this disaster and thus discourage future habitation
of high risk locales. These memorials could be as simple as large
- 1) Schools, churches and other critical facilities should
never be located closer than 400m from the coastline, and
preferably 800m in at-risk areas.
- 1) The local casuarina tree species withstands the wave attack
significantly better than coconut trees, and casuarina forests
should be planted in front of coastal communities, whenever
- 1) There should be evacuation drills annually on the
anniversary of this disaster so that all people in at-risk areas
know that if they feel the ground moving they should run as far
from the beach as possible.
- 1) Every family in an at-risk area should have a designated
casuarina tree with a ladder or carved steps to allow vertical
evacuation of the able, when there is no other option.
- 1) The residents in nonaffected areas should return to their
homes, after being briefed about what to do in the event that they
feel a ground motion or if they see unusual water movements. (As
in most other 1992-98 tsunamis, this tsunami was preceded by an
LDN, i.e., a leading-depression N-wave.)
- 7) The local fishermen should be allowed to resume fishing in
the open ocean only. The local authorities should collect samples
of the lagoon water (as described to them) and have them tested
monthly to quantify the evolution of the water quality in the
lagoon to determine when it would be safe again for fishing and
- Future Prevention Work and Suggestions
- Further work will continue to model the source and
determine whether the possibility for a transpacific tsunami
exists, either from the seafloor displacement or from a coseismic
slump. It is hoped that a bathymetric survey will take place in
the near future to attempt to find any evidence of slumping.
(Interestingly, an NSF funded workshop in Santa Monica, California
in May 1997 and organized by the University of Southern California
on tsunamigenic seafloor deformations, it had prophetically
concluded that there was a need to develop better methods to
identify tsunami generation from submarine slumping events versus
slow earthquakes. Understanding this event will hopefully lead to
the production of inundation maps for the north coast of PNG,
similar to those in Hawaii and under development for some western
States. Having access to inundation maps helps the local
authorities locate schools, hospitals, fire-stations and other
- 9. LIST OF MEMBERS
- Jose Borrero, Univ. Southern Calif., USA
- Willem de Lange, University of Waikato, NZ
- Koji Fujima, National Defence Academy, JPN
- Fumihiko Imamura, Tohoku University, JPN
- Yoshiaki Kawata, Kyoto University, JPN
- Masashi Matsuyama, CRIEPI, JPN
- Hideo Matsutomi, Akita University, JPN
- Jonathan Nott, James Cook University, Australia
- Emil Okal, The Northwestern University, USA
- Costas E. Synolakis, Univ. Southern Calif., USA
- Tomoyuki Takahashi, Kyoto University, JPN
- Yoshinobu Tsuji, Univ.Tokyo, JPN
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the New Guinea/Solomon islands region, 1768-1972, Australian Dept.
of National Resources, Bureau of Mineral Resources, Geology and
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region of New Guinea, in Carman G.J., and Carman, Z.(editor)
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H.Matsutomi and R.Hidayat(1997): Irian Jaya Earthquake and Tsunami
causes serious damage, EOS, Transactions, AGU, Vol.78, No.19,
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- IOC (1998): Post-Tsunami survey field guide, Manual and Guides
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Report on earthquake and tsunami of the 1998 Papua New
Guinea,Disaster Control Research Center,Tohoku University, 18p.
- Letz,H.(1985): Seismizitat in Irian Jaya (west-Neuguinea),
Indonesien, und ihre tektonishe Bedeutung. Berliner
Geowissenschaftiche Abhandlungen, Reihe B/Heft12, Verlag von
Dietrich Reimer, Berlin.
- McCarthy,J.K.(1963): Patrol into yesterday, Canberra F.W.
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large earthquakes in the Papua New Guinea region, 1900-1989, Dept
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Y.P. Chandra, and M.Usman(1995) : Damage, conditions of East Java
Tsunami of 1994 analyzed, EOS, Transactions, AGU, Vol.76, No.26,
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The Flores island tsunamis, EOS, Transactions, AGU, Vol.74, No.33,