Guest Lecture On Tsunami Basics At County Museum

By Staff Reports

(Victor Valley)–Professor Lori Dengler will present a special guest lecture, “Tsunami basics for the Inland Empire: Life-saving tips for anyone who visits the coast,” at the San Bernardino County Museum in Redlands on Monday evening, March 11. The lecture, which starts at 7:30 p.m., is open to the public at no cost.

Tsunamis have wreaked havoc globally in recent years, capturing headlines worldwide. As an expert in earthquake and tsunami hazards and hazard mitigation, Dr. Dengler provides unique insights on how these phenomena can impact human lives. “The 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami killed over 200,000 people and was the deadliest tsunami in history,” she said. “2,300 of those casualties were non-residents, tourists and business people from 46 countries on holiday or job-related activities. Sweden lost 554 citizens, making the Indian Ocean tsunami the worst natural disaster in Sweden’s history.”

Nor is the Indian Ocean tsunami unique in this respect, Dengler observed. “About five years later, a great earthquake and tsunami struck Chile. Chile has a long history of great earthquakes and coastal residents are very aware of the tsunami hazard and know what to do,” she said. “But the February 27, 2010 earthquake struck on the equivalent of Labor Day weekend—the last weekend of summer. Campgrounds and coastal hotels were filled with inland residents who knew nothing about tsunamis, and sadly made up a large percentage of the casualties. This talk will give you an overview of what tsunamis are and give you basic safety tips, even if you only rarely visit the coast.”

“Lori’s lecture coincides with the two-year anniversary of Japan’s devastating Tohoku earthquake and subsequent tsunami,” said Kathleen Springer, the museum’s Senior Curator of Geological Sciences. “The magnitude 9.0 earthquake generated a Pacific-wide tsunami that reached maximum runup heights of 125 feet along the coast of Japan, travelling up to six miles inland. Lori’s lecture is a reminder that anyone spending a day on the beach could be affected by a tsunami generated by a quake, whether its epicenter is distant or local.”

Lori Dengler is Professor of Geology at Humboldt State University. She received her Bachelor’s, Master’s and PhD degrees in geophysics from the University of California at Berkeley. She was a member of the team that developed the National Tsunami Hazard Mitigation Program and the author of the first Strategic Implementation Plan for Mitigation Projects for the tsunami program. She has participated in post-earthquake/tsunami survey teams to Papua New Guinea, Southern Peru, Indonesia, Northern California, Samoa, Chile, and Japan. She is on the Steering Committee for California’s Earthquake Country Alliance and the scientific advisor for the state’s tsunami program and the Redwood Coast Tsunami Work Group. Dengler received NOAA’s 2001 Richard Hagemeyer Tsunami Mitigation Award, Humboldt State University’s Scholar of the Year (2008), and the Alquist medal for promoting earthquake safety in the State of California (2009).

The San Bernardino County Museum is at the California Street exit from Interstate 10 in Redlands. Parking is free. For more information, visit The museum is accessible to persons with disabilities. If assistive listening devices or other auxiliary aids are needed in order to participate in museum exhibits or programs, requests should be made through Museum Visitor Services at least three business days prior to your visit. Visitor Services’ telephone number is 909-307-2669 ext. 229 or (TDD) 909-792-1462.

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