Thursday, May 28, 2009

Low tide sparks tsunami fear in Caribbean

This representation of tidal oscillations at Vieques Island
after a classic resonance of Earth, Lunar and Solar tides
resulted in an extraordinary low tide on the southern
banks of Puerto Rico, May 2009

Danica Coto, AP

"It's only the moon, emergency officials in Puerto Rico are telling nervous islanders who have feared that recent extreme tides portend a tsunami or biblical catastrophe."

"Waters receded up to 50 feet (15 meters) this week during low tide on Puerto Rico's southern coast, sparking a flurry of calls to seismology and geological agencies from people worried about natural disasters or supernatural events. Tsunamis are sometimes preceded by a dramatic drop in sea level."

"About 75 people have called Puerto Rico's seismological agency this week, including one woman who refused to believe the scientific explanation, said data analyst Harold Irizarry."

"She could not be convinced," he said."

"People in the southern coastal town of Ponce have been seen walking over areas normally covered by water, studying exposed rocks, coral and sea shells."

"The extreme-tide phenomenon has been noted across the Caribbean and in Central America."

"Some beaches along the Pacific coast of El Salvador have seen tides that are 10 feet (3 meters) lower than usual."

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