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2019-20 LECTURE  12/19/19

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Brian Atwater, USGS Scientist (Ret.), Affiliate Professor UW


"Surviving A Tsunami in Chile"


The largest earthquake in recent centuries was followed by tsunami waves that many residents survived. This earthquake, of approximate magnitude 9.5, took place along the coast of south-central Chile on May 22, 1960. Many who survived the ensuing tsunami used the earthquake as a natural tsunami warning. Most took refuge on high ground, and some found safety in buildings and trees. Accounts of these actions, recounted in 1988 and 1989, can be found in a public-safety booklet (https://pubs.usgs.gov/circ/c1187/) to which the speaker, Brian Atwater, contributed as an interviewer and compiler.


In the picture below, a Chilean researcher is interviewing a nurse in Maullin, Chile, in 1989. She told him of evacuating the hospital behind her, in advance of the 1960 tsunami. She also testified that the tsunami reached the hospital without quite wetting its ground floor.

Brian Atwater has used coastal geology to clarify earthquake and tsunami hazards, mainly in the northwestern United States but also in Japan, Thailand, Pakistan, and the northeast Caribbean. He is an affiliate professor at the University of Washington, and a scientist emeritus with the United States Geological Survey.

$10 Admission at the door each Thursday evening. $50 season tickets available at Coastal Interpretive Center or at the first two lectures.

Shilo Inn, Ocean Shores, 6:30 p.m.