Now this one is really funny. It did make me laugh.
As most would have heard there was a large earthquake in Chile lately. Since the earth quake produced tsunami near Indonesia a few years ago the Australian government set up a multimillion dollar tsunami early warning system. Again the government was there to protect us so we could all feel safe again.
Well they were able to give warning system its first try out as the earthquake in Chile could have produced a tsunami that was going to hit the east coast beaches of Australia. It swung into action and the government warnings were produced on radio, TV and so on. The beach life savers ran around warning everyone to get out of the water and leave the area.
There was just one problem. Few people left the area and after they got out of the water some went back in much to the angst of the beach life guard. They are well meaning people but they are also just yet another obvious example of the government nanny state in Australia. They feel they have to protect us from ourselves at the beach because we obviously can’t manage such a thing on our own.
The latest in tsunami proof swim wear
However there is more! Not only did just a few heed the life guard tsunami warnings, many of those who were at home and heard the media generated tsunami warnings headed for the beach to watch the tsunami roll in. So crowds started to gather at the beach to watch the tsunami arrive which it did, all 90cms of it. Three foot in the old language so what a fizzer that was!
The government early warning system worked in that people were given an early warning but the result was for more to go to the beach. As you can imagine this has left the government dismayed, they had a prime time example to once again be that lovely nanny state and protect us all but very few wanted the protection. People really did vote with their feet on this one.
The government response to this is to assume that the reason why people did not leave the beach is because they are uneducated and thus they need re-education. Now there are proposed million dollar public education programmes in schools and over the airwaves to educate people about the dangers of tsunamis. People know the dangers already as they have seen endless images of the recent Indonesian tsunami destruction. Also the government is proposing proposing new laws which give the police powers to forcibly move people away from the beach in a tsunami alert. That is just what we need, the police to have more powers!! For heavens sake allow people the right to make their own choices!!
I grew up at the beach. I have spent much of my life at the beach and was a surfie for many years. At times I have been in some very big surf and the ocean and the beach is something that is very dear to me and I know the ocean well.
One of the first things a surfie learns is to identify when the monster wave is approaching. For two reasons. First so you can try and get into a position to catch it and if you can’t do that to then get over the wave so it does not munch you. Let me tell you that can be quite frightening when is a very large wave heading your way.
If one is waiting for a wave and one feels the water level drop quite significantly then you know there is a big one heading your way. So the wave you can see coming your way you know is going to get bigger and bigger if the water level drops and drops. This is because the water preceding the wave gets sucked up into the wave. Thus the bigger the wave the bigger the water level drop. If you are at the beach and someone tells you a tsunami is coming but you see no water level drop then the tsunami is only going to be a little baby tsunami.
I wonder if the government will include this in their re-education programs or will it be more like: just listen to the warnings and obey them because you are not intelligent enough to make your own assessments and decisions.
The other thing about waves is the bigger the wave the earlier it will break. Bigger waves break in deeper water. This is the curse for every surfie. You place yourself where the waves are generally breaking but if a large one appears then it will break further out from the shoreline which means you have to start paddling very fast or you will be munched by it.
At most Australian beaches you will never get a very large tsunami breaking on the shoreline smashing houses and so forth unlike you could get in Hawaii. There the land rises very quickly out of the deep ocean whereas in Australia the water depth slowly get less and less as you approach the shoreline. Thus a very large wave will break a long way from the shore and roll in. There may be a very large volume of water following the broken wave and thus in most of Australia a tsunami will cause damage by flooding not so much by smashing and crashing on the shoreline. Thus one is afforded an earlier visual warning and you are not going to get a monster wave suddenly appearing out of nowhere crashing on the shoreline at most Australian beaches.
I wonder if the government re-education program will include this or will it show more of the Hollywood style huge wave crashing in on our cities.
If caught in the wrong place at the wrong time then it hurts!