The Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami: Two Years Later
Two years ago today the most powerful known earthquake ever to have hit Japan, and the fifth most powerful earthquake in the world since modern record-keeping began in 1900 occurred. The earthquake triggered a powerful tsunami, which reached the California coast.
The tsunami resulted in a Tsunami Warning for San Francisco, and in response, the San Francisco Department of Emergency Management (DEM) partially activated our city’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC). Two years ago the EOC was buzzing with teams representing a variety of response agencies and organizations as we worked together to prepare for the waves reaching the shore. One activity of primary importance was making sure those who live and work in San Francisco knew about the tsunami warning and what to do.
DEM used every tool in its tool chest to inform the public of the tsunami warning. These tools included social media (@sf_emergency and DEM’s Facebook page); traditional media with DEM Deputy Director Rob Dudgeon giving many interviews with the press, which aired on local news stations frequently through the day; and, we issued warnings and alerts on our text and email notification system, AlertSF.
DEM urges anyone who lives and works in San Francisco and who has not yet registered for AlertSF, to commemorate this second anniversary of the Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami, which posed an incontrovertible risk to San Francisco, by registering. This system is the most reliable of our tools as we cannot guarantee social networks won’t be overloaded and when/if the press will report through radio and television networks.
As we look back two years ago today, we offer a DEM Blog from the archives commemorating the first year anniversary. As time always passes, for us at DEM the sentiment does not.