UAF researchers creating tsunami evacuation routes for coastal communities

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Researchers at the University of Alaska Fairbanks have recently found new information on how ocean waters near Southeast Alaska communities act during a tsunami.

Tsunami Numerical Modeler, Elena Suleimani with the UAF Geophysical Institute, began her research in 1986, during her studies in Russia.

According to Suleimani, Alaska is the biggest tsunami producer in the United States and the giant waves greatly impact the coastal cities of the state - this includes the Aleutian Islands and the Gulf of Alaska.

After research is complete, Suleimani and her cohorts will create a map with information for emergency officials so communities can properly plan an evacuation route and where to build a shelter.

Suleimani explains that residents need to be as prepared as possible.

"People who live here, they only have 10 to 15 minutes for evacuation, they don't have hours- for example the West coast of the United States, they have at least two to three hours, so they will know that people have some time evacuate, which means people need to be prepared in advance. Everybody needs to know where their emergency route is, have the emergency supply kit at home, so basically when the tsunami hits at 4 am, you don't have time to think about where to go, you need to know exactly where to go."