Where the First Wave Arrives in Minutes

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where the first wave arrives in minutes

donde llega la primera ola en pocos minutos

En quelques minutes, la première vague déferle

This new booklet is intended for people who live, work, or vacation on shores worldwide where fast-arriving tsunamis may strike. The booklet draws survival lessons from eyewitness accounts of the tsunami of December 26, 2004 in Aceh, and of the July 17, 2006 tsunami on the south coast of Java.

The lessons have three main themes. First, several kinds of knowledge provide the earliest warnings of tsunami hazard, during the decades before a tsunami begins. Among warnings of a tsunami underway, earthquake shaking provides the most immediate natural signal to go to high ground. This reaction, in turn, is among nine survival tactics illustrated by the eyewitness accounts.

“Where the First Wave Arrives in Minutes” was compiled by Eko Yulianto, Fauzi Kusmayanto, Nandang Supriyatna, and Mohammad Dirhamsyah. It was adapted for international audiences by Brian F. Atwater, Eko Yulianto, and Ardito M. Kodijat, and it was produced by the Jakarta Tsunami Information Centre (JTIC). The booklet was printed in 2010 for UNESCO/IOC – NOAA International Tsunami Information Centre (ITIC) in Honolulu, Hawaii.


Where the First Wave Arrives in Minutes

Bahasa Indonesia (2009)

PDF icon  2.83 MB

English (2010)

PDF icon  1.80 MB

Spanish (2010)

PDF icon  2.40 MB

French (2013)

PDF icon  2.50 MB




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Featured Resources

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Regional Disaster Information Center (Latin America & the Caribbean)

A database of Spanish language materials focused on tsunami preparedness.
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Post-Tsunami Survey:
El Salvador Summary Video

Learn the basics of a post-tsunami survey.

TsunamiTeacher USA
Tsunami Basics

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Learn the basics of tsunamis. Available in English and Samoan.

Tsunamis on the Move

Tsunami Awareness Poster

Awareness poster available in English, Chinese, French, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Singalese.


Global Hazard Maps

Posters of Tsunami Sources, Significant Earthquakes and Significant Volcanic Eruptions. Also Tsunami Sources Icosohedron Globe.

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Tsunami, The Great Waves

Available in English, Spanish, French and Chinese.


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Tsunami Glossary

Available in English, Arabic, Spanish, French and Bahasa. 



Where the First Wave Arrives in Minutes

Available in English, Bahasa, Spanish and French.


DVD copies for PC and Macintosh computers are available free of charge from the ITIC, Hawaii (itic.tsunami@noaa.gov).

Hosted by:
UNESCO/IOC Project Office for IODE Oostende, Belgium
© 2015 International Tsunami Information Center | A UNESCO/IOC-NOAA Partnership
1845 Wasp Boulevard, Building 176, Honolulu, HI 96818, USA | Tel: +1 808 725 6050 | Fax: +1 808 725 6055