Geohazards Management Division

Department of Mineral Policy and Geohazards Management

Improving the quality of Life and Safety of Our People

Department of Mineral Policy and Geohazards Management
Improving the quality of Life and Safety of Our People

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Tsunami Monitoring

Tsunami is a constant threat to communities and infrastructure in coastal areas of PNG. Movement of the sea floor caused by a major earthquake is the common cause of tsunami generation. Tsunamis generated by regional and distant sources have also affected various parts of the coast in recent times. Volcanic eruptions and under water landslides have also triggered massive local tsunamis in PNG causing deaths and caused damage to infrastructure.  

 

The potential for earthquake-induced tsunami is promptly assessed by a network of seismic stations strategically-located within PNG, and augmented by regional stations. This is complimented by data from tsunami service providers within the region such as the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre (PTWC), North-West Pacific Tsunami Advisory Centre (NWPTAC) and the Joint Australian Tsunami Warning System (JATWS). 

                              

The National Seismograph Network showing the coverage of stations operated by the Port Moresby Geophysical Observatory (blue triangles), the Joint Australian Tsunami Warning System (yellow circles) and the international station operated by Global Seismograph Network (white square) of the United States Geological Survey.

Tsunami information and alerts

For any significant earthquakes (M ≥ 6), details of the earthquake and the threat of earthquake-induced tsunami is assessed. This information is promptly made known to disaster authorities, Government agencies, news media and the general public via a range of communication channels. 

 

Tsunami warning and response

Information of any potential threat of a tsunami is disseminated by the PNG National Disaster Centre (NDC). NDC is the mandated disaster authority that issues a tsunami warning if required, after consultation with PMGO.

  • For regional and distant source tsunami, there is ample time to issue a tsunami warning for orderly evacuation.
  • For a local tsunami, the most effective tsunami warning is the natural warning signs. Natural warnings signs includes:
  • Severe earthquake shaking
  • An unusual drop or rise in the sea level
  • Roaring sound (like sound of a jet plane) coming from the sea

If any of these signs are observed, evacuate to high ground or go as far away inland as possible.

 

Recent tsunamis that affected the coastal areas of PNG

The most recent tsunami events that affected coastal areas of PNG include:

 

 

 

 

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