Myrtle Beach listed as one of few tsunami-ready cities in U.S. - - Columbia, South Carolina |

Myrtle Beach listed as one of few tsunami-ready cities in U.S.

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Myrtle Beach, SC -

By Evan Lambert - bio | email

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – According to a Coastal Carolina University expert it is not out of the question for a tsunami to one day hit the Grand Strand.

Louis Keiner, physics and oceanography professor at CCU, says he wouldn't expect devastation like the magnitude of the conditions in Japan right now, but there is some risk.

"It can happen and there are recorded tsunamis that have happened in the Atlantic. There have been none in recent memory obviously," said Keiner.

According to Keiner a tsunami is essentially a huge wave or series of waves caused by an earthquake. Plates collide and push energy up toward the surface causing a ripple effect in the water. That energy in the form of waves is known as a tsunami.

The last major earthquake in South Carolina was in Charleston in 1886. It happened on land and didn't result in a tsunami.

Horry County Emergency Management officials also recognize the tsunami risks, demonstrated by signs placed along the beach and a full-fledged tsunami plan.

"What we look at is the immediate threat which would be along the beach all the way to Ocean Boulevard and that's our evacuation zone," said Alicia Sanders, with the emergency management office.

Some along the beach say they haven't ever thought of what to do if a tsunami threatens, but understand the reasons for preparation.

"We need to stay alert and stay conscious and aware of what's going on around us and be on our toes in case something does happen. We need to be prepared," said Jeanne Edwards, of Myrtle Beach.

According to city officials Myrtle Beach is one of only a few designated tsunami-ready cities in the U.S.

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