Portal talk:Current events

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Re: Tsunamis[edit]

I think we should be very careful as to whether to mention a tsunami in Wikipedia's current events section. We need to understand that not every tsunami is on the scale of the 2004 Indian Ocean Earthquake and Tsunami. Tsunami statements actually happen more than most people think. Most of them get cancelled pretty quickly. Nevertheless, if a tsunami warning, advisory, watch, or threat is issued. PLEASE take it seriously. Get to high ground if you are by the coast. Tsunamis can move up to 500 miles per hour. And yes, a tsunami warning was issued in this instance.

What I am concerned about is the use of Wikipedia as a hazard warning system as it is operated by amateurs who are not tsunami experts. With tsunamis, warnings can be issued and cancelled within hours. On Wikipedia and on Current Events, citing sources is important, but we need to remember that newspaper articles are timebound and limited to the time of publication. Currently, something is written on there in present tense in a warn-the-masses kind of thing. If we do wish to use Wikipedia to be an alert relay system, perhaps Wikipedia should collaborate with tsunami warning centers. I think the warning has been cancelled, but I'm not an expert* on this, so I don't have the wisdom as to whether it should be taken down. I don't want to remove it if I shouldn't, but I don't think it should have been up there in the first place.

Regarding different tsunamis: Whenever there is an earthquake underwater, there is a risk of a tsunami. This happens relatively frequently. An issue arises when the earthquake is very strong. The Alaska earthquake was 8.2 according to one source, and that is a level of intensity we need to pay close attention to, as that magnitude creates great potential for an enormous tsunami. Yet the type of fault and amount of plate motion involved is what truly makes tsunamis giant (ie. the Indian Ocean one 2004.) This Alaskan earthquake was at a strike-slip fault which means that things move side to side (with very little up and down vertical action), which has the least danger for a giant tsunami. The Indian Ocean tsunami was an underwater Megathrust earthquake at a subduction zone (meaning where an oceanic plate is colliding and sinking beneath another plate, which involves vertical action ). These kinds of earthquakes are extremely dangerous for tsunamis at megathrust earthquakes because the plates move a considerable bit and tsunamis happen because of displacement of water. Strike-slip earthquakes don't displace much water. But a seismologist was surprised that this was a strike-slip earthquake as typically earthquakes in this area are thrust earthquakes[1]

To give you an idea of the contrast between this earthquake and the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami, In the Indian Ocean earthquake, 1000 miles of fault moved 50 feet. This created 100 foot waves in some places. I do not have data on how much the fault moved in Alaska, but the waves created were maximum 0.7 feet.

Because tsunamis travel at 500 miles per hour (800-some kilometers per hour), there is very little time to evaluate if there will be a significant wave, so the priority is taking action right away.

David Hale, a lead decision maker at the National Tsunami Warning Center in Palmer, Alaska said this, "We don't have the luxury of time to be able to gather the data necessary to determine whether there is or is not a wave," Hale said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press.[2]

Note: I am NOT trying to undermine the authority of tsunami warning centers. LISTEN to them. Follow their instructions. Get to higher ground. If the sea recedes, do NOT go into the area to collect seashells. That means the wave is about to inundate.

My concern is that using Wikipedia for tsunami alerts is that it is not run by professionals, usually, information changes by the minute, and without proper constant, up-to-the-minute updating, it could be wrong, only serve to cause panic, and other implications. At least people know tsunamis are dangerous and should be cause for concern and action; however, in a disaster, communication matters. Not only are lives at stake, trust is at stake, and this trust can save lives at other times. I don't think most Wikipedians are qualified to properly convey a tsunami threat. Even though I have a considerable amount of knowledge and insight on this, I do not consider myself qualified to be an emergency communications manager for when there is a tsunami. I would like to hand that over to the professionals. I'm also concerned that if one tsunami gets into Wikipedia's current events section, then there is a potential for every single tiny and cancelled tsunami to make it onto the page. Are there exceptions where we should put things about an ongoing tsunami on Wikipedia Current Events? Sure. If we had another incident like the 2004 event, where there is immediate damage and is going to spread globally with devastation, we need to go right ahead and put something on there. But we need to use proper discretion. Anyways, I'm not an expert on this or the warning process system. I have studied plate tectonics in depth, but I have not worked in a tsunami warning center control room, so take this with a grain of salt, I guess. Bottom line is to listen to tsunami warnings if they are issued and get to higher ground.

I think all warnings have been cancelled, but if we get to a point where we are sure, we should change the text from

2018 Alaska earthquake A 7.9 magnitude earthquake occurs in the Gulf of Alaska. A tsunami warning is issued for coastal Alaska and British Columbia, and the entire U.S. West Coast is placed under a tsunami watch. Areas of Alaska remain under a tsunami advisory. It is tied as the sixth-largest earthquake ever recorded in the United States, but there are no reports of significant damage or fatalities.


2018 Alaska earthquake A 7.9 magnitude earthquake occurs in the Gulf of Alaska. A tsunami warning was issued for coastal Alaska and British Columbia, and the entire U.S. West Coast was placed under a tsunami watch. A tsunami advisory was issued for parts of Alaska. All warnings, watches, and advisories have been cancelled. It is tied as the sixth-largest earthquake ever recorded in the United States, but there are no reports of significant damage or fatalities.

So I think at some point we should clarify this, but in the future, I think we should be more careful before putting tsunami information down.

Thanks, -TenorTwelve (talk) 09:07, 25 January 2018 (UTC)

Current events categories[edit]

What are all the categories for news items? Alex of Canada (talk) 18:46, 7 February 2018 (UTC)

From what I can see—Arts and culture, Armed conflicts and attacks, Business and economy, Disasters and accidents, International relations, Law and crime, Politics and elections, Science and technology, and Sports. – NixinovaT|C⟩ 04:37, 22 February 2018 (UTC)

Kizlyar church shooting[edit]

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-43105171 there doesn't seem to be an article on this, or am I missing it?--Kintetsubuffalo (talk) 09:50, 20 February 2018 (UTC)

See February 18NixinovaT|C⟩ 04:39, 22 February 2018 (UTC)