With so many minds on Japan's earthquake and the following tsunami, my interest was piqued to check out the Tsunami Center in Palmer. They were having an open house and we could either listen to presentations or just wander and ask questions while checking out the equipment. Just inside the door, a demo was being done to show how a tsunami is created and works. For more info, go to http://wcatwc.arh.noaa.gov/events/eventmap.php Click on the link on the left called WCATWC for more info on this particular center.
I was just playing tourist and not taking notes, so didn't get this man's name, but since KTUU was interviewing him later, I'm assuming he is probably the head of the Center.
It's a highly computerized system, with big screens crammed with info everywhere. Most of it meant nothing to me but they said when something of note happens, a warning is sounded to make sure it's taken note of quickly. A buzzer of some sort.
Hard to see, but under the middle phone on the shelf sets a red cordless satellite phone. It's label reads it's to be used in emergency only. Kinda like the stereotyped red phone in the White House, I guess, the one to be used when things go askew.
I'm sure most of those on duty were there when the earthquake and tsunami in Japan happened, but the gal seated in front of the computer screens happened to be talking about being on duty when it was happening. Rather fascinating and probably a very helpless feeling.
A fuller view of the seismograph with all its data collecting gizmos. I might note that it seemed to be connected to a huge, solid looking "cabinet" next to it, too, so tho' this one was taller than my head, it was also a large piece of data collecting equipment.
It should be noted that they don't rely completely on computers. Info is also entered by pencil in this official record book.
This "cabin" isn't much bigger than a walk-in closet, but is designed to allow staff to create the experience of an earthquake for those who dare enter. I didn't enter. Hey, I'd just had lunch. Cut me a break!