An interesting map came to the weather office via Storm Center Communications.

The map below shows the various paths the “tsunami waves” followed as they moved away from the epicenter of the earthquake. Of interest is how much of the remnant “wave energy” is channeled toward the U.S. and Mexican coastline. Also note how the wave remnant that moved toward Hawaii abruptly ends, for the most part, as it runs up against the island chain.

The text and locator map following the the image are also provided by Storm Center Communications.

John Collins

image4This image shows the propagation of the tsunami across the Pacific Ocean.  The epicenter of the quake was near the Samoan Islands and on this map is where the tsunami is the largest (red and orange).  As the tsunami travels across the ocean it slowly dissipates until reaching the ends of the Pacific where it may be only a swell of a few centimeters.  Due to the large scale of this image, it does not represent the wave height at the Samoan Islands which has been recorded as significantly higher than 100 cm.


Additional Information:

  • As of today, October 1, 139 people are confirmed dead, 22 in American Samoa, 110 in Samoa, 7 in Tonga.  It is believed that number will increase as rescuers make start to reach the outlaying villages.

  • The tsunami was caused by a magnitude 8.0 earthquake that occurred on September 29 at 6:48 local time (17:48 UTC).  The epicenter (star) was 120 miles south of the city of Apia, Samoa near the Kermadec-Tonga Subduction Zone (purple line) where the Pacific Plate dives under the Australian Plate in the Pacific Ring of Fire.


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