Tsunami survivor, OSU wave researchers to speak


CORVALLIS - An Oregon man who lived through the Asian tsunami while on a small island off the coast of Thailand will share his survival story at Oregon State University on Thursday, Feb. 10.

David Schreiber, who lives in Beaverton and Thailand, said he hopes telling his story will help the world better understand what the Thai people and others went through during and after the tsunami. He also hopes his presentation will underscore the importance of tsunami-related research being done at OSU and other places.

The presentation, "A Tsunami Survivor's Story," is free and open to the public. It is sponsored by the OSU College of Engineering's Kiewit Center for Infrastructure and Transportation, and begins at 7 p.m. at Gillfillan Auditorium on the OSU campus.

Schreiber will be joined by a panel of OSU researchers who are helping develop better tsunami early-warning systems, safer evacuations procedures, and improved bridge and building designs at the O. H. Hinsdale Wave Research Laboratory, which is a part of the OSU College of Engineering.

Schreiber, his wife and a friend were on a day trip to a Thai island when the tsunami struck. The operator of the small boat that brought them to the island perished in the tsunami, after warning Schreiber a massive wave was coming.

Schreiber will show a short video he shot during two return trips to the island several days later.

Dan Cox, OSU ocean engineering professor and director of the O. H. Hinsdale Wave Research Laboratory, will moderate the discussion and describe how a $4.8 million grant from the National Science Foundation enabled the OSU College of Engineering to construct the Tsunami Wave Basin, the world's largest and most-wired facility specifically designed for tsunami research.

Cox testified last week before the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, which is hearing testimony about the Tsunami Preparedness Act of 2005 and the U.S. Tsunami Warning System bill.

Cox will be joined by OSU civil engineering professor Harry Yeh, an internationally renowned tsunami expert who just returned from a site visit to a tsunami-ravaged region of India. Yeh will help field technical questions.

Seating is limited. For more information, contact the Kiewit Center for Infrastructure and Transportation at (541) 737-4273.