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 December 28, 2004
Guam Not Affected By Tsunami

 The earthquake and series of tsunamis causing cataclysmic impact to the countries bordering the Indian Ocean has not affected Guam.

Nor will tsunamis of such magnitude ever have the same impact on Guam as the low laying areas of Indonesia, India, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Myanmar, Malaysia, Bangladesh, and Somalia. That's because of the depth of the Marianas Trench and the coral reefs surrounding Guam help protect the island from tsunamis according to a published cover story in the Pacific Daily News on December 28, 2004.

According to the story, a U.S. Geological Survey published in 1964 stated that "although a destructive tsunami is possible at any one of Guam's open bays, the possibility of a large tsunami causing considerable damage, however, appears remote inasmuch as most of the lowland on the island is protected by a band of coral reefs that acts as a filter or a baffle for long-period waves", the paper states.

The PDN story also quotes Guam-based U.S. Geological Survey station geophysicist Paul Hattori. "The Marianas Trench would help deflect the wave energy if an earthquake happens east of the trench. It'll tend to disperse it. What happens is when it hits the trench; all of the submarine canyons and mountains tend to redirect the tsunami wave. For more information about this story visit

"Visitor safety is our primary concern when it comes to natural disasters," says Guam Visitors Bureau general manager Tony Lamorena. "While we feel very sadden to hear about the destruction and loss of life the recent earthquake and tsunami caused, we want to reassure our visitors who are planning to come to Guam for rest and holiday that we are unaffected by the tsunamis and our reefs protect us from the destruction that they may cause".