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Are You in a Tsunami Flood Zone?

Oceanside CA-  The San Diego County’s Office of Emergency Services recently sent out over 30,000 information guides to businesses and people living in tsunami flood zones along the San Diego County coastline. This is the first time the county has targeted specific businesses and residents for the preparedness information.

A tsunami isn’t just one wave but a series of water waves caused by the displacement of a large volume of a body of water, generally an ocean or a large lake. Earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and other underwater explosions (including detonations of underwater nuclear devices), landslides, glacier calvings, meteorite impacts and other disturbances above or below water all have the potential to generate a tsunami.

The most significant remote tsunami to hit southern California was in 1960, when an 8.6 magnitude earthquake off the coast of Chile generated a tsunami resulting in 4 foot waves at Santa Monica and Port Hueneme, and caused major damage to the Los Angeles and Long Beach harbors.

In case of a tsunami, residents and businesses in affected areas will receive reverse 911 notifications on their landlines. However, people who don’t have landlines and rely on their cellphones need to register their cellphone number, with the county, to be included on the list. You can do that here [Link]

Since not all people who visit the beach live in automatic notification zones, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with different area evacuation routes. You can find maps for all San Diego County coastal cities evacuation routes here [Link] on the County’s website. There you will also find guides on recognizing signs of an impending tsunami like the  ‘drawback’.   The water level will drop and expose areas of the shore that are usually submerged. Don’t go forward to investigate or start collecting stranded sea life. This is the time where you start running for your lives, because this indicates that a tsunami is going to happen after this warning sign.

You can view evacuation maps below.

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