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Friday, June 17, 2005

Flocking to Danger

Problem 1 (15 points):  Use supply and demand curves to explain why people rush to the beach when there is a tsunami warning:

Still a tsunami of work to do, The Oregonian: Tuesday night's tsunami warning spotlighted some admirable emergency planning by Northwest coastal communities, but also some glaring weaknesses in the region's readiness to respond. Too many people tried to evacuate by car, creating potentially lethal traffic blockages along the Oregon coast … Other people foolishly flocked to dangerous viewpoints, well within tsunami inundation zones, hoping to see the anticipated wall of water … law enforcement agencies did an excellent job of clearing people from popular Oregon beaches. And many communities … staged well-coordinated evacuations of residents and tourists from inundation zones. … Unfortunately, some coastal communities sounded no sirens and organized no evacuations. … Tuesday's drama demonstrated that tsunami defense involves much more than erecting sirens. Oregonians and their neighbors all along the West Coast have work to do before the next tsunami warning brings the real thing.

Magnitude 9 earthquakes occur off the Oregon coast every 300-500 years. The last was a little over 300 years ago and occurred on January 27, 1700 at 9:00 p.m. (See here for an interesting discussion of how this tsunami was so precisely documented and what to expect if one hits again. See  here for what to do.)   The clock is ticking.

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    Posted by on Friday, June 17, 2005 at 12:15 AM in Oregon | Permalink  TrackBack (0)  Comments (0)


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