California’s Tsunami Preparedness Week Buoys Awareness About Coastline Risks

More than 1,200 miles of pristine coastline borders California. Established as a disaster-prone state due to damaging wildfires, earthquakes and flooding, there are also underlying threats and associated risks with tsunamis.

While it has been 10 years since the destructive tsunami in Tohoku, Japan caused significant damage to California’s harbors, the worst tsunami in state history ravaged Humboldt County in 1964. Nearly the entire town of Crescent City was destroyed and 13 people died.

Both tsunamis occurred in March.

A tsunami is a series of large ocean waves generated by either large earthquakes which deform the ocean floor, or landslides within or falling into the ocean. Recognized annually in March, Tsunami Preparedness Week reminds Californians to understand the hazards of living at or visiting the coast. Individuals and communities are encouraged to take steps to becoming better prepared for tsunami disasters, doing so by checking the My Hazards tool to reduce risks.

The public can be counted among people and organizations worldwide by registering for 2021 tsunami preparedness activities and ‚Äúknow your zone‚ÄĚ by visiting www.tsunamizone.org. There are also numerous statewide events, exercises, and educational forums.

NOAA’s National Tsunami Warning Center offers complete information, including the current status of tsunami warnings, advisories and watches, as well as frequently asked questions. To learn more about tsunami risk and preparedness, visit the Cal OES Tsunami Preparedness webpage.

Additional information and resources about Tsunami Preparedness Week are available at www.tsunamizone.org.

Jonathan Gudel

Jonathan Gudel is a Public Information Officer for the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES). Since joining Cal OES, he has assisted in the response and recovery efforts of the Aliso Canyon Gas Leak, the state's historic drought, the Oroville Dam Emergency Spillway Incident, unprecedented winter storms in 2017, the 2017 October (Sonoma County) and December (Santa Barbara County) wildfires, the Camp Fire in 2018, the 2020 statewide fire siege, and the COVID-19 pandemic. Previously, he worked in the newspaper industry for 12 years.

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