Shrewd engineering combined with a swift, efficient warning system can save thousands of lives. Engineers and other experts suggest these strategies for tsunami-resistant construction:
- As much as possible, leave vegetation and reefs intact. They won't stop tsunami waves, but they can slow them down.
- Orient the building at an angle to the shoreline. Walls that directly face the ocean will suffer more damage.
- Construct deep foundations, braced at the footings.
- Use heavy concrete construction for the lower floors.
- Elevate the lower floors on legs. Rising water will do less damage if it can flow underneath the structure.
- Use continuous steel framing strong enough to resist hurricane-force winds.
- Design structural connectors that can absorb stress.