Laguna Tests Tsunami Planning

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Lifeguard Chief Kevin Snow points out a map of downtown, which shows potential inundation zones from a tsunami.

Laguna Beach’s first-responders participated in a statewide tsunami exercise last month, working through a tabletop drill of the challenges whipped up by a 8.2 magnitude earthquake off the Alaskan coast that put the Californian coastline into a tsunami watch.

Laguna Beach holds certification through the National Weather Service as a TsunamiReady city because of simulations such as this one as well as evacuation plans, signs and a notification system.

City officials will notify the public of a tsunami threat through AlertOC, where  residents register their cell phones, business lines and e-mail addresses to receive vital messages during emergencies.

Much of Laguna Beach’s coastline is protected by cliffs, while the orientation of its beaches would likely mitigate Alaska-bred tsunamis. Even so, low areas such as Main Beach and Aliso Beach may be susceptible to inundation.

City officials offered this advice for tsunami survival:

Protect yourself during the earthquake: drop, cover and hold on. Move to high ground or inland as soon as you can. Stay on higher ground. Waves from a tsunami may arrive for eight hours or longer. Only return to the coast when an 
announcement states it is safe.

Residents and businesses along the coast are urged to prepare for tsunamis by practicing their family and business emergency plans.

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