Welcome to the TsunamiZone in CNMI!

CNMI residents standing in front of tsunami evacuation sign.

The Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) is a United States Commonwealth located in the Pacific comprising 14 islands, with Saipan, Tinian, and Rota being the three main jurisdictions. While the CNMI receives frequent tsunami waves from events in the region, historically, they have not been destructive. The largest and most recent wave event was a 3.5 feet wave from the 2011 Japan tsunami. That tsunami hit at low tide and was more oriented toward Hawaii, not the CNMI.

However, modeling has indicated that the CNMI is at greater risk from other earthquake-prone parts of the Pacific. According to Japanese seismologists, an 8.5-9.0 magnitude earthquake is expected to occur in the Nankai Trough subduction zone of southeast Japan. That is expected to generate a large tsunami oriented directly toward the Mariana Islands.

Because of this threat, the CNMI Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Management (HSEM) under the Office of the Governor have been taking proactive steps toward tsunami preparedness in the CNMI through community outreach and the installation of tsunami evacuation signage. In addition, they are also currently working to install tsunami alert sirens and to produce inundation and evacuation maps for safety of their community.

Resources for tsunami preparedness can be found on the CNMI HSEM website under the Natural Disaster tab and the community can also stay informed via social media on Facebook and through the phone application ReadyCNMI which is available on the App Store (Google Play) and Google Play.

Logo for CNMI Homeland Security and Emergency Management.

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