Government of the Federated States of Micronesia

Tsunami warning issued for the FSM

POHNPEI, Palikir (FSM Information Service): November 17, 2000 - The FSM Weather Bureau issued a Tsunami (tidal wave) warning to the four States on Thursday evening, November 16, 2000.

The warning came in the wake of two earthquakes centered in and around the New Britain and New Ireland regions in Papua New Guinea. The quakes measuring 7.7 and 8.0 on the Richter scale caused structural damages to telecommunication systems in the neighboring islands of Rabaul and Ropoko, however no casualties were reported.

A bulletin received by the FSM Weather station in Pohnpei stated, "it is not known that a tsunami was generated, the warning is based only on earthquake evaluations".

FSM Weather Station staff Meteorologist Ceasar Hadley explained that "the geological structures of our coral based islands, help deflect the true force of a tidal wave, whereas countries bordering or inline with the continental plates are more likely to sustain full effects of a tsunami".

Pohnpei State Disaster Coordinator, Mr. Dais Lorrin said the [State's] were not in "any real danger, maybe a slightly higher and stronger tide. But, we had to establish precautionary measures for the safety of the public we therefore advising them to stay away from the reef and coastlines", thus, five hours later, the tsunami warning was cancelled.

The other States echoed similar precautionary measures and upon cancellation of the Tsunami warning, reported no effects of the wave's route through the FSM.

The Pacific nations subjected to the Tsunami warning included: FSM, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Nauru, CMNI, and Palau. Other Pacific nations were issued a Tsunami watch.

For further information on this release, please contact:

FSM Office of the President
Public Information: Press, Radio, Video
P.O Box 34
Palikir Station, Pohnpei, FM 96941
Tel.: (691) 320-2548/2092
Fax.: (691) 320-4356