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Tsunami

Tsunamis may occur following earthquakes in or near oceans and other large bodies of water. The Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami of 2011 caused widespread devastation and loss of human life, and lead to the meltdown of the Fukishima nuclear reactors. Effects of this tsunamis were mildly experienced along the California coastline.

Those who live or regularly visit the Pacific coast should be aware of tsunami evacuation routes and immediately prepare to take action when an earthquake is felt or when tsunami sirens are sounded or warnings are for their area are issued.

See our Alerts page for information on receiving tsunami alerts on by text, email, or phone.

See our Apps, Books, and More page for information on tsunami and earthquake smartphone and tablet apps.

What does a tsunami warning sound like?

Some communities test tsunami sirens on a regular basis. Ask a local resident or emergency official about test days and times. When in doubt, consider the sirens to be an actual alert and get to high ground.

For more information…

Tsunami Signage

Pedestrians and Hikers
sign depicting hiker make way to higher ground

Motorists
sign designating evacuation route for motorists

Evacuation Sites (higher elevations safe from inundation)
sign designating an area as a safe elevation and evacuation site
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