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Tsunami Warnings and Preparedness for Long Beach, WA USA

There are no active watches, warnings or advisories for South Washington Coast (Washington).

Logo: Tsunami Evacuation Sign

What Is A Tsunami?

Tsunami (soo-NAH-mee): a Japanese word that means harbor wave; a sea wave of local or distant origin that results from large-scale seafloor displacements associated with large earthquakes, major submarine slides, or exploding volcanic islands. Typically generated by seismic or volcanic activity or by underwater landslides, a tsunami consists of a series of high-energy waves that radiate outward like pond ripples from the area in which the generating event occurred.

Not all earthquakes produce tsunamis. To generate a tsunami, an earthquake must occur underneath or near the ocean, be very large (approximately Richter magnitude 7 or greater), and create vertical movement of the sea floor. However, recent studies regarding the potential for a great Cascadia Subduction zone earthquake off the Washington, Oregon, and Northern California coastlines indicate the local tsunami waves may reach nearby coastal communities within minutes of the earthquake thereby giving little or no time to issue warnings.

How will I know if a Tsunami is coming?

The WC/ATWC and PTWC may issue the following bulletins:

If you're near a coastal beach, here are ways to know a tsunami may be imminent and you need to seek higher ground:

Tsunami Evacuation

Are you tsunami ready? This video provides tips for being ready when tsunamis strike on the Washington coast:

Where do I evacuate?

Evacuation signs and what they mean:
Tsunami evacuation routes were developed to assist coastal residents and visitors find safer locations in case of an earthquake and tsunami. Evacuation signs have been placed along roadways to indicate the direction inland or to higher ground. In some places, there may be more than one direction available to reach safer areas. These routes may be marked with several signs showing additional options for evacuation.

Preparation and planning

  1. Find out if your home, place of work and other locations you frequent are within the tsunami inundation zone. These are the areas deemed vulnerable to flooding in the event of a tsunami. Go to the WA State Tsunami Hazard website to find evacuation maps that include sites you and your family frequent..
  2. Know your route to safety. Tsunami maps show evacuation routes away from areas subject to possibly inundation, as well as designated assembly areas out of the flood zones.
  3. Have a three-day disaster kit ready.

During a distant source tsunami event, Pacific County Emergency Management officials may recommend that residents evacuate by one or more of several methods. The Pacific County Emergency Notification Network is a telephonic warning system that will dial county residents through the public switched telephone network. A recorded message will provide residents the information pertinent to the event. In addition, a message will be broadcast over NOAA weather radio. Pacific County fire departments and districts will also be dispatched to broadcast a message via truck mounted PA systems when time allows.

View Pacific County Tsunami evacuation maps by clicking below:

10/11/2019 - View the new Tsunami Evacuation Walk maps by clicking below:

Seaview WA, Tsunami Siren Test AHAB on Sept 21, 2011 by Nansen Pihlaja Malin:

Ocean Park WA, Tsunami Siren Test AHAB on Sept 21, 2011 by Jackie Sheldon:

Tsunami Preparedness

Logo: Tsunami Ready

Live on the Coast? Is your community TsunamiRead? Visit the TsunamiReady site!

Tsunami History

Evidence of past Tsunamis on the Washington Coast:

Tsunami evidence in tidal land on Washington Coast:

Exploring the evidence of past Subduction Zone Earthquake caused Tsunamis on the Pacific Coast. This was a public walking tour on April 14, 2012 at the river bank of the Naiwaikum River led by Brian Atwater a USGS geologist and arranged by the Pacific County Emergency Management Agency (PCEMA). The different color sands on the riverbank are evidence of the sudden land drop and tsunami after a subduction zone earthquake in year 1700. If you dig deeper you can see evidence of other buried soils that indicate older past land level change/tsunami events, the oldest found here was from year 400. This evidence has been corroborated with study of growth rings in local trees.

Geologists have found the stumps of Sitka spruce and red cedar that were poisoned when the land sank and seawater invaded ground that was formerly above the high tide level. Study of growth rings in the killed trees show that they grew their final layer of wood during the year 1700 quake. Videos by Mike Challis