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The electronic news media can be another effective vehicle for disseminating health advisories and updates on casualties and relief efforts. For example, during the emergency phase, warnings of possible landslides disseminated by the media may help populations maintain a vigilance and possibly evacuate areas if minor rockfalls, slope failures, or debris flows suggest that a more severe failure is imminent. Prompt evacuation of low-lying areas near the coast should also be a priority whenever the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's tsunami warning network (headquartered in Hawaii) issues a warning.

In a survey conducted after the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, Bourque, Goltz, and colleagues found that while the majority of deaths and injuries happened at the time of earthquake shaking, a rather high proportion--about 40%--of deaths and injuries occurred during the 72-hour period after the earthquake, some of which might have been prevented had advisory warnings been issued to the public (87). Ideally, public officials should work out media guidelines for information dissemination so that all parties will know what to expect when an earthquake strikes.