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In 1998 and 1999 Jack Rynn and Jim Davidson, both
working in Brisbane, published material in the
Science of
Tsunami Hazards
(vol 17 #2, pp 107-126) summarizing
Australian seismic disaster preparedness and mentioned
some evidence both geological and anecdotal of how
tsunamis, often from quite  distant earthquakes, had struck
Australia. A glance at the map shows that in many instances
portions of Australia's northern coast are likely to be
protected from distant tsunamis by the many islands of
Indonesia and Papua New Guinea. Of course, there is little
to be done about waves caused by a major marine
earthquake in the Timor Sea or the Gulf of Carpenteria. An
additional concern for Australia is that perhaps 90% of the
population lives on or near coasts. Logistically, it is unclear
if a mega-tsunami ravaged the east coast whether the
western ports would be able to handle the volume of
recovery materials AND whether the materials could be
transported 1800 miles.  
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For a tsunami moving eastward across the Indian Ocean Perth, with 1.5 million people in the city
proper, is a very juicy target. Likewise, depending on how much of a barrier the Great Barrier Reef
turns out to be, a Chilean tsunami would find Brisbane with 1.8 million people irresistible.  Less
analyzed is a northbound tsunami. It is sometimes forgotten that half of the Southern Hemisphere
is south of Tasmania. In some scenarios Hobart (200,000) is only struck a glancing blow, and
sometimes Melbourne (400,000) and Adelaide (1.1 million) escape major damage.  We note that
the bulk of land for Planet Earth is above the Equator. This is good as there are fewer extremely
southern volcanoes, and, were one to erupt explosively, ash clouds would likely cause less
damage.Somewhat ironically, much less land is bad as tsunamis will not be impeded.
See also some pages on the Kermadec Islands (north of North Island New Zealand)
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