In 1946, 1960, and 1964, major tsunamis (giant sea waves usually caused by earthquakes or submarine landslides) struck coastal areas of the Pacific Ocean. In the U.S. alone, these tsunamis killed hundreds of people and caused many tens of millions of dollars in damage. Recent events in Papua New Guinea (1998) and elsewhere are reminders that a catastrophic tsunami could strike U.S. coasts at any time. The USGS, working closely with NOAA and other partners in the National Tsunami Hazard Mitigation Program, is helping to reduce losses from tsunamis through increased hazard assessment and improved real-time warning systems.
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USGS Numbered Series
Helping coastal communities at risk from tsunamis: the role of U.S. Geological Survey research