Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk Tsunami Warning Center
( Y S T W C ),
Sakhalin isl.

Postal address:

Chief - Tatyana N. Ivelskaya, Zapadnaya str, 78 Yuzno-Sakhalinsk, 693000 Russian Federation (CIS)

Telephone numbers:

24 hr phone:   +7-424-2 42-36-91
1st alternate:  +7-424-2 72-28-20
2nd alternate: +7-424-22 5-31-14

 E-mail address: TWC@Sakhalin.ru

For the Russia, YSTWC has responsibility as National Tsunami Warning Center to provide tsunami warning service for any tsunami impacting Russia national interests. YSTWC predicts the tsunami arrival times, coastal impact if possible, and must provide timely and effective information and warnings to all national interests to minimize the hazards to human life and safety.

We can offer such catalogues:

(1) Catalogue of Warnings and Tsunami for Pacific Region starting with 1998;

(2) Earthquake data catalogue for the events with magnitude greater or equal 7.0 in Kuril-Kamchatka trench, Okhotskoye and Japan seas;

(3) Data catalogue for near source tsunami observed in Kurily isls and Sakhalin isl;

(4) Tsunami data catalogue for the events resulting due to distant quakes.

We are interested in receiving of immediate seismological and tsunami information, historical tsunami data.

Japanese scientists visit Sakhalin Tsunami Warning Center (October 14-28, 2004)

State and perspectives of development for the Sakhalin operative tsunami warning service
(c)98, Tatiana N. Ivelskaya, Director of Sakhalin Tsunami Warning Center

(c)2005, Alexander A. Poplavsky, Vasily N. Khramushin



Tsunami Warning System (TWS) in Russia was organized in 1958, six years after destructive tsunami of November 4, 1952. Two departments are responsible for the TWS functioning: 1) Federal Service for Hydrometeorology and Environment Monitoring and 2) Geophysic Service of Russia Academy of Science (RAS).

Russia Far East TWS consists of three Regional Services: Sakhalin, Kamchatka and Primorye Services.

At the present stage of development of a science is not obviously possible to predict an earthquake but after one's occurring to some probability a tsunami generation is predictable.

In Sakhalin Region the TWS consists of Tsunami Warning Center (TWC) and Seismic Station of RAS Geophysical Service, both located in Yuzno-Sakhalinsk . The TWC's primary objective is to provide timely tsunami warnings , all clears and information to the people and organizations and also studying of tsunami phenomenon. The seismic station is responsible for Tsunami Warning issuance in case of near source quakes when epicentral distance is up to 3000 km from Yuzno-Sakhalinsk while TWC issues warnings based on tsunami information after occurring of major quakes in the Pacific with distance of more than 3000 km.

Issued Tsunami Warning transmits to Civil Defence and Emergency Regional Headquarters and to Central Telegraph Station of Yuzno-Sakhalinsk. TWC personnel after an occured earthquake computes tsunami arrival times for Sakhalin and Kuril Isls coastal places, then determines danger ending, issues all clear in all cases.

In accordance with international agreements in case of emergency Sakhalin TWC cooperates with TWC abroad

Sakhalin TWC prepares for Regional Emergency Commission an information about expected and real conditions after occurred underwater earthquake and an information about intensity and consequences of major quakes occurred on land.

For the period of 1958 - 1998 in Sakhalin and Kuril Isls there were registered 42 tsunami, 34 of them were generated in near-source zone (Kuril-Kamchatka Trench, Japan and Okhotsk seas) and 8 - in distant regions of the Pacific.

Tsunami waves are generated not in all cases of occurring of major earthquakes near coast but considering that generation probability is high, Tsunami Warning are issued always when magnitude is greater or equal threshold ( for the Kuril-Kamchatka Trenh, Japan and Okhotsk seas threshold is 7.0).


The phenomenon we call a tsunami is a series of extremely long waves with long period. These waves are primarily associated with earthquakes occurred under oceanic bottom or near coast. Volcanic eruptions, landslides, nuclear explosions and even outer space objects impacts can also generate tsunami. In the deep ocean tsunami speed can exceed 1000 km/hr , tsunami length from crest to crest may be a hundred kilometers or more while height may be only a few centimeters so people aboard cannot feel them.

When the tsunami enters the shoal parts of coastline, wave velocity rapidly diminishes and the wave height considerably increases. Just in these shallow waters tsunami becomes dangerous for life and property, its height may be from 30 up to 50 m or even more and tsunami strike becomes devastating. Tsunami is most dangerous for settlements situated inside V-shaped gulfs and bays when open part looks towards the ocean. In Kuril Isls 2-nd Kuril Strait (where Severo-Kurilsk is situated ) is similar to such bay. Great amount of water enters such bay striking coast and flooding rivers up to 2-3 km from coastline.


  1. Most of tsunami are generated by earthquakes occurred under the ocean floor, more often at peripheral parts of the Pacific. Potentially dangerous parts of coast are the low lying ones situated along the beach in gulfs and bays with heights less than 15 m above sea level when distant tsunamis are observed and less than 30 m in case of a local tsunami occurring.
  2. A tsunami is not a single wave, but a series of waves. Therefore, stay out of dangerous zone until all the waves are passed or an "ALL CLEAR" is issued . A danger of tsunami may exist for a few hours.
  3. Pay attention to distant tsunami warnings. There were 61 human losses and a few hundreds injured in Hilo (Hawaii) in 1960, although tsunami warning was issued 10 hours before the initial wave arrival.
  4. Any undersea earthquake occurred near coastline may generate a local tsunami. If you felt such quake, leave the beach immediately. More than 230 persons were lost in Japan in 1983, May when tsunami struck NW-coast of Honshu, although everyone could feel the earthquake and should be careful when received a warning.
  5. Approaching tsunamis are sometimes heralded by noticeable rise or fall of coastal waters. Such sign always must be a warning.
  6. Never come down to the sea to have a look at opened bottom or tsunami. Tsunamis can move faster than a person can run! It may be too late!
  7. Taking in account the first tsunami signs, mentioned above, keep calm and quickly move to higher ground (from 30 up to 40 m above the sea level) away from the coast. Tsunamis can travel up rivers that lead to the ocean, so you must come up a slope and not along a riverside. If there isn't a higher ground you need come away from coastline on distance from 2 up to 3 kilometers.
  8. If you are on a boat or ship and there is tsunami warning, move your vessel to deeper water ( at least 50 m).
  9. When no major waves have been observed for two hours after the strong quake it may be assumed that the tsunami threat is over.


When an earthquake occurs, you may feel shocks during short time - from several seconds up to one minute. The shocks can frighten you but it's nothing to do how to wait their ending. If you'll act calmly and thoughtfully, you'll increase your chances to be rescued. Moreover, your calmness will be transferred to other peoples and will help them.

  1. Keep calm and do nothing that can disorganize the people (don't cry and don't run about).
  2. If you are in a room, immediately move to safety place. If it's possible, hide yourself under a table. Stand up in the doorway or in the room corner. Protect yourself of falling fragments and heavy furniture. Keep away from windows and heavy objects (such us machine-tools and refrigerators) that may be overturned or displaced.
  3. The common rule - do not run out of a building. Falling fragments are very dangerous. It's better to search for rescue there where you are, to wait of the end of earthquake and then quietly to leave the building if it's necessary.
  4. Do not be frightened if there is electricity switching-off. Be ready to hear sounds of broken glass, falling objects and crash of walls.
  5. If you are in a not seismic-proof brick house or another unsafe building you may decide that's better to leave it than to be inside. In such case run out quickly but carefully keeping away from falling fragments, torn electric wires and other sources of danger.
  6. If you are out of a building, try to get to open space coming away from buildings and electric lines.
  7. Don't surprise to feel another shocks. After foreshock temporary silence may follow and then aftershock may occur. This phenomenon is just acting of different seismic waves of the same earthquake. Repeated aftershocks also may occur, i.e. single earthquakes may be after foreshock occurring. Such aftershock occurring may continue for a few days.


  1. - People don't feel an earthquake. Ground oscillations are registered by seismographs.
  2. - Very sensitive people being at complete rest can feel an earthquake.
  3. - Hanging lamps, room flowers, curtains, open doors and parked cars slightly shake.
  4. - Hanging objects and parked cars slightly shake, vessel liquid oscillates. Weak sound of densely made unstable glass is heard. Most of the people being inside buildings feel an earthquake. In rare cases people awake. Some people can feel an earthquake in the open air.
  5. - Hanging objects shake visibly. In rare cases clock pendulums stop to swing. Sometimes a liquid pour out of filled vessels. Shelved unstable glass and ceramics overturn. All the people being inside buildings and most of the people in the open air feel an earthquake. People awake and domestic animals become worried.
  6. - Hanging objects shake . Sometimes pictures fall from shelves and move. Pendulums of many clocks stop to swing. Light furniture moves. Glass and crockery fall. Many peoples run out of buildings. People movement is unstable. Domestic animals run out of shelters.
  7. - Hanging lamps considerably shake. Light furniture moves. Glass, books , vases etc. fall. All the people run out of buildings and in some cases jump out of windows. The movements without a support is difficult.
  8. - Some part of hanging lamps being broke. Furniture moves and overturn. Light objects jump and overturn. The people can hardly keep their legs.
  9. - Furniture overturns and breaks. There's a great anxiety among domestic animals.
  10. - There're numerous damages of home use objects . The domestic animals run about and cry. Branches and the trunks of trees break.
  11. - There's a wreck of property under fragments of buildings.
  12. - There's a great catastrophe with human losses, plants and animals perish from landslides in mountain regions.

Our Internet e-mail address: TWC@Sakhalin.ru