NOAA hosts open house to encourage tsunami awareness

Published: Mar. 25, 2017 at 11:04 PM AKDT
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One day before Tsunami preparedness week in Alaska, the tsunami warning center in Palmer opened its doors to Alaskans.

The open house was a chance for residents to see how exactly the world's oceans are monitored.

Hundreds of Alaskans showed up for the event, which is held every year around the anniversary of the deadly 1964 earthquake.

Scientist say it's a reminder of the potential for a major disaster in the last frontier.

Part of the event included tours through the real-time seismic observatory, details on the warning process and a virtual earthquake experience.

Center director Paul Whitmore says even though warnings can be issued before a tsunami hits, it's still crucial for people to recognize the signs and have a plan.

"Tsunamis can happen at any time we can't predict when they're going to happen, so just know what to do and it's a good chance for an education," he said.

Officials say they'll be testing the state's tsunami warning broadcast system on Wednesday at 10:15 am.