28 Dec 2004

Pacific Tsunami Warning center says some leaks of energy into Pacific from Indian ocean tsunami

2:37 pm on 28 December 2004

The Pacific's Tsunami Warning Center in Hawaii has warned of several leaks of energy from the deadly Indian Ocean tsunami into the vast Pacific Ocean.

Although there is no tsunami warning or watch in effect, the Centre says the energy generated is producing some sea level fluctuations at many places in the Pacific, including American Samoa, Fiji, Hawaii, Vanuatu, Australia and New Zealand.

The center says that small sea level changes could continue to be observed across the Pacific over the next day or two until all the energy from this event is eventually dissipated.

It says waves or crests measuring from 18 to 65 centimetres would surge along the coasts of Pago Pago, Suva, Hilo, Port Vila, Waitangi, the Chathams and Jackson Bay.

The Indian Ocean tsunami was triggered by the most powerful earthquake recorded in the past 40 years.

A tsunami is not a single wave, but a series of travelling ocean waves generated by geological disturbances near or below the ocean floor.

The Australian Associated Press reported that the catastrophic death toll in Asia might have been reduced had Indian Ocean nations been part of an international warning system that covers the Pacific.

The warning system sends out alerts about potentially destructive waves that hit coastlines within three to 14 hours.