There has been a STRONG earthquake at the North Pole, where the North American Tectonic Plate meets the Eur-Asian Tectonic Plate, at a depth of 10km below the Arctic Ocean. This is an extraordinarily rare location for any earthquake, never mind one of this strength and at such a shallow depth. The quake took place at 3:11 PM eastern US time Saturday.
There are concerns that the quake MAY have caused a Tsunami, but there are no Data Buoys that far north to warn anyone of such a hazard, AND FIVE OF THE SIX WARNING BUOYS CLOSER TO THE U.S. EAST COAST AREN'T WORKING ! ! ! ! !
If a Tsunami was generated, it would impact the northern coast of Russia, first. Next would come Finland and Norway, then Greenland, Iceland and the US East Coast hours later. In fact, it could even affect Alaska and the US West Coast from the location where the earthquake took place.
Tsunami Warning Buoys are operated by the National Data Buoy Center, a part of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) within the US Department of Commerce.
The Tsunami warning buoys they operate are shown on the map below -- take NOTE of the items in RED -- they're NOT working!
Yes, you see the map correctly: FIVE out of SIX Warning Buoys in the Atlantic Ocean are NOT WORKING! ! ! We have very little (if any) protection is a Tsunami is already on its way.
Making this even worse is that the northern-most Buoy, Station 44401, has been out of service FOR OVER A 18 MONTHS !
According to the National Sata Buoy web site, the following is reported for Buoy 44401:
Owned and maintained by National Data Buoy Center
Station 44401 has stopped transmitting tsunami data 4/22/2016. Station is inoperative. Hull 2.6D73 went adrift on 12/31/2016. It will be restored into service when it can be recovered and then worked into the maintenance schedule. Click here to see the latest positions.
Previously deployed hull 2.6D43 from 44401 went adrift from its mooring on 02/11/2016 and is no longer providing water column data. It has been renamed 44D01 and its latest positions can be found here.
In the interest of full disclosure, I took it upon myself to write to the new Secretary of Commerce, Wilbur Ross, regarding this situation back on August 3, 2017.
I included maps, graphics and full location information for all the malfunctioning Data Buoys, explained WHY this was important to our safety, and asked Secretary Ross to make certain the Buoys were fixed.
I never received a reply to that letter.
The buoys did not get fixed.
Here we are, In October, and a major earthquake at sea, may have sent a Tsunami barreling toward our coast, and we have no way of knowing about it until it';s less than 20 minutes away from New York City.
This is an extraordinary event. Folks should pay close attention to any developments.