An educational website created by Scientists and Web developers at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) offers important tips on how to adequately prepare for and survive a tsunami.
Tagged as "an interactive guide that could save your life," the site also features the latest tsunami-related science research and compelling tsunami survivor videos and interviews.
"Tsunamis can neither be prevented nor precisely predicted yet," said site initiator Dr. Jian Lin, a WHOI geologist actively involved in tsunami research and a member of a US national committee on tsunami warning and preparedness.
"But people educated about tsunami warning signs can save their own lives and the lives of others," he added.
A tsunami can quickly engulf vulnerable coastal regions resulting in widespread destruction and death.
The 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, in which 240,000 lives were lost, serves as a reminder of how devastating these events can be.
"Despite the tremendous loss of life that tsunamis cause, until now, the public worldwide - including school kids - had a hard time finding user-friendly and interactive Web sites to educate them on what tsunamis are, the warning signs of an approaching tsunami, and what to do if they see a warning sign," said Lin.
The new Web site, http://www.whoi.edu/home/interactive/tsunami/, is intended to be a resource for both residents and visitors to coastal zones of the US and the rest of the world, as well as an educational tool for students from the middle-school level and up.
Using interactive graphics and animations, the site covers how to prepare for a tsunami, how to respond should you see one approach, and what to do in the aftermath.
It includes stories from survivors of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, amateur video, and even includes a sound file of the undersea earthquake that caused the 2004 tsunami.
The site also explores the research and technology currently being used to study and watch for tsunamis and includes video interviews with scientists describing their work.
"This site is an invaluable source for educating the public and providing outreach to at-risk coastal communities," said Dwayne Meadows of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
"We've taken the lessons learned from the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami and applied that to the study of other earthquakes and tsunamis. Scientists are making progress. But public education is still the most important means to saving lives," he added.