New app plots escape route from oncoming tsunami

(Courtesy USGS)

If an earthquake happens in Hawaii, we may have just minutes to evacuate before a tsunami hits.

But what if you don’t have a car? Will you have enough time to walk to higher ground?

Scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey just launched a new app that can help you answer those questions.

The web-based Pedestrian Evacuation Analyst program uses GPS mapping data to plot a pedestrian route out of the tsunami danger zone.

Based on changes in elevation and different types of terrain, the program tells you if have enough time to walk to safety.

And if you don’t have enough time, the mapping tool shows you the options for a “vertical evacuation,” or getting up high enough in a condo or secured building.

The software tool can be downloaded online, and the complete users guide is also available online.

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