Preparing for a rare natural disaster - 12 News KBMT and K-JAC. News, Weather and Sports for SE Texas

Preparing for a rare natural disaster

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The beach front would see the greatest impacts The beach front would see the greatest impacts

LAKE CHARLES, LA- Wednesday afternoon the National Weather Service in Lake Charles held a Tsunami Response Drill to help educate public officials on the potential impact of a tsunami on the Texas Gulf Coast.  Now when you think of a serious natural disaster that could impact Southeast Texas, a hurricane is the first thing that probably comes to mind.  Yes, historically hurricanes have caused the most widespread damage in this area, but what about a tsunami? 

Joe Rua, lead forecaster at the National Weather Service in Lake Charles says the overall threat of a tsunami is low, but the potential impact is big.  The greatest problem is that unlike a hurricane, a tsunami cannot be forecasted several days in advance.  In fact it would only be a matter of a few hours before the water came rushing onshore.

"Basically for Southwest Louisiana, Southeast Texas you are looking at anywhere from three to five hours so you are looking at a very quick event," Rua says.

In a worst case scenario, Sabine Pass and other communities directly along the coast would be completely inundated under several feet of water.  However, for the Golden Triangle the impact would be minimal.

"The further inland you go the less likely it is to have any tsunami impacts," Rua goes on to say.  "You might have some tsunami currents along local rivers, but as far as inundation in the city of Beaumont, this scenario is probably not a lot."

The key is awareness and even though the likelihood of a Gulf Coast tsunami is very low, it's always important to realize the potential impact that would result if one did actually occur.


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