County Passes Along Tsunami Survival Tips

See the update at the end of this post on things you can do to protect against tsunami damage.

tsunami-zone-130.jpg
ORIGINAL POST, MARCH 26, 7:09 A.M.: If you live in Huntington Beach, and especially along the coast there, you'd be wise to figure out a quick route to reach higher ground.

That's the advice of Lucy Jones, Southern California media's go-to expert on earthquakes and tsunamis.

Jones, who is with the United States Geological Survey (USGS), spoke at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach Monday night as part of National Tsunami Preparedness Week, City News Service reports.

Sudden 5- to 10-foot increases in sea level would put low-lying areas like Huntington Beach and Venice Beach most at risk, Jones and her USGS team recently discovered.

Their recent federally funded study modeled a magnitude 9.2 Alaskan earthquake that struck 50 years ago and caused California's largest-recorded tsunami event. The study estimated about 90,000 people live in that tsunami's inundation zone today.

"If you are at the beach and you feel strong earthquake shaking, leave the beach," Jones advised. "The downside is you miss a day at the beach, the upside is your life."

The experts conceded tsunamis are rare here, but that does not mean residents should not prepare for the worst. City News Service quotes USC Tsunami Center's Patrick Lynett saying Southern California's ports and harbors are at risk from earthquakes and tsunamis since either/or can produce strong, damaging currents.

"I think for most people, tsunamis are a second thought," Lynett says, "but for people
who live next to the coast, they can't be a second thought."

UPDATE, MARCH 27, 8:37 A.M.: Today marks the 50th anniversary of a 9.2 magnitude earthquake that struck offshore of Alaska and caused a tsunami that spread down the West Coast and resulted in 12 deaths in Crescent City. Orange County was not spared, as the 1964 tsunami inundated parts of Seal Beach, Huntington Beach and Newport Beach, damaging harbors and flooding homes and businesses on the coast.
 
To remind the public of the danger, the Orange County Board of Supervisors proclaimed this Tsunami Preparedness Week, and county agencies passed along these tips:

* Develop family and business emergency plans, including creating a communication strategy and selecting a place to meet on higher ground. 

* Not only residents and workers along the coast but beachgoers should "should pay extreme attention to tsunami warnings and advisories that are publicly posted, as well as beach closure barricades and signs."

* If you haven't already, join the county's AlertOC warning system (at AlertOC.com) to register your home and cell phones, business lines and e-mail addresses so you can receive vital messages during emergencies.

* Obviously, protect yourself during an earthquake (drop, cover and hold on).

* Move to high ground or inland as soon as you can and stay there; high waves from a tsunami may arrive for eight hours or longer.

* Return to the coast only after local officials announce it is safe to do so.

Email: mcoker@ocweekly.com. Twitter: @MatthewTCoker. Follow OC Weekly on Twitter @ocweekly or on Facebook!

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45 comments
g.judd1111
g.judd1111

Its almost as if someone had a crystal ball that was able to predict the immediate future.

Preston L. Bannister
Preston L. Bannister

Strangely unworried about this, as long as the wave is less than 800 feet. Then again I live in the foothills inland.

fishwithoutbicycle
fishwithoutbicycle topcommenter

Thanks for the update, Coker. Those are helpful tips...as opposed to telling schoolchildren that crouching under a wooden desk would protect them from a nuclear attack. (Lewis Black is hysterical). Cheers.

deaususa
deaususa

If you are worried about tsunami's, then you should be more worried about earthquakes, which more apt to happen than a tsunami.

Trvr Brgr
Trvr Brgr

Ditch the cars and paddle my surfboards to work.

Highway39
Highway39

No one ever mentions the Seal Beach Naval Weapons Station when they are discussing earthquakes and tsunami's around here. What happens when all of those munitions (and, who knows what else?!) get driven into Garden Grove, Westminster and Los Al?


Darren Lyons
Darren Lyons

If you don't know this you shouldn't live 5 miles from any coast

Lavina Loya
Lavina Loya

Krista Neil .... Ask Kev if he still wants to move here haha

Essie Jansto
Essie Jansto

Do you know the last time we had a tsunami? ! Lol..yeah right!!!

Benjamin Shelley
Benjamin Shelley

yes please. it would wash away all the greasy gentrification

timothynoble41
timothynoble41

When they tested the tsunami warning siren at Newport Beach 2-3 years ago, it actually sent idiots flocking to the beach to see the 'big wave'.

fishwithoutbicycle
fishwithoutbicycle topcommenter

Looks like "Surf City" might become "Run For Your Life a Tsunami's Coming! City".

KofaSing KoodGarma
KofaSing KoodGarma

*Begins making plans to convert Tustin home to next Beach front property...*

Kelly Kemp
Kelly Kemp

And when that Japanese radiation forces Godzilla into California waters? What then, scientists?!

Melissa Avalos
Melissa Avalos

Stephanie Nock....yea ummm....call me the Paranoid Patty Parent...but I dont think heading to HB right now for a bon fire would be a great idea for Ronnie....o.O

roman_archer
roman_archer

@Highway39 I'll tell ya what will happen: no more seedy porn shops, no more pho and no more betting on the ponies.

JBinOC
JBinOC topcommenter

LOL

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