Tsunami

The Victoria State Emergency Service (VICSES) is the control agency for tsunami in Victoria, which means that we are responsible for planning for tsunami and for managing response if a tsunami does occur.

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A tsunami is a series of waves generated by any of the following:

  • Vertical movement of the sea floor after a large earthquake.

  • Submarine or coastal eruptions.

  • Meteor impacts.

  • Submarine or coastal landslides.

Even though the overall tsunami risk to Victoria is lower than many other parts of the world, a tsunami may still impact the Victorian coast. The largest tsunami to affect Victoria in recent times occurred in May 1960 after a 9.5 magnitude earthquake in Chile.

Tsunamis are likely to cause:

  • Dangerous waves.

  • Strong ocean currents and rips.

  • Flooding in low-lying coastal areas, including coastal streams.

  • Damage to marine facilities and boats. Extreme danger to low-lying coastal areas.

  • Overtopping of foreshore dunes and sea walls.

  • Flooding beyond the immediate foreshore.

  • Damage to ports, marina and small boats.

  • Damage to buildings and infrastructure near the shore.

  • Extremely dangerous ocean conditions for hours or days.

  • Tsunami Resources - Geoscience Australia.

  • Tsunami: The Ultimate Guide. The Australian Tsunami Advisory Group has put together an interactive online guide that covers everything related to tsunami using videos, animations, spectacular images and in-depth information.

The official tsunami warnings centre for Australia is the Joint Australian Tsunami Warning Centre. The centre is operated by the Bureau of Meteorology and Geoscience Australia, and was established to provide Australia with an independent capability to detect, monitor, verify and warn the community of tsunami threats.

Tsunami warnings for Victoria can be found via Joint Australian Tsunami Warning Centre on the Bureau of Meteorology website. VICSES will then share these warnings through the VicEmergency channels.