Eish, amazing how well social networking sites work these days. Well, let's clarify that comment - they get news out there, fast. However, they also have a nasty habit of being a bit like that broken telephone game we used to play as kids.
Information gets somewhat twisted and distorted as it travels around FB, Twitter, emails and the like. Case in point was how last week I got 3 emails telling me about massive surf hitting Vic Bay - problem was, the shots were from the big storm of 2008! But some ou had started an email claiming they were from that morning - and ended up suckering plenty peeps into believing his hoax.
So yesterday it was the earthquake off PE that hit the news. Everyone started talking about tsunami's and the like. Anyhow, it turned out to be nothing more than a storm in a tea-cup. The quake was moersa far offshore, 2130km off our coast to be exact. That's like halfway to Antarctica! Trying to imply it's anywhere near PE is like saying we're close to the Congo.....cos that's about 2200km north of us!!
The ou's at the Geological society said it's nothing out the ordinary - it was only 5.0 on the Richter scale, and we apparently get around 10-20 jolts a year.
Nevertheless, some peeps were hoping we'd get a wave out of it. But you have to remember - you don't want to be trying to ride a tsunami! You can't really surf a tsunami because it doesn’t actually have a face. A tsunami wave isn’t going to look anything like a 25-foot wave at Jaws, Waimea or Maverick's! It’s more likely to look like a wall of whitewater approaching land.
It’s not often it’ll stack up cleanly into a breaking wave; as only a portion of the wave is able to stack up tall anyway. This is cos the wave is often over 50km’s long and the tail end of the wave is still travelling at 200km/h! So what happens is that the shore end of the wave becomes extremely thick, forcing this wall of water to run far inland – not exactly where you’d want to be going with your board!
Let’s face it; we know how little control we have over our boards in the whitewater. On a tsunami, there's no face, so there's nothing for a surfboard to grip. Plus the fact that generally the waters full of debris dredged up from the sea floor, makes for a less than ideal ride! This is not what you want to be caught paddling around in!
You can't duck-dive the thing either cos the entire water column is in motion, not just the top few feet. You also can't bail, cos the trough behind might be another 25km away, and all that water is moving towards you.
So, don’t plan on riding too many earthquake generated waves – they aren’t all they’re cracked up to be! Best place to be if we get one coming our way is to be nowhere near the beach!