Photo: San Diego Coastline

Is California at Risk for Tsunamis?

California enjoys over 1,200 miles of pristine coastline. While most Californians recognize the damaging potential of wildfires, earthquakes and flooding, far fewer understand the risks associated with tsunamis. California’s two worst tsunamis of this past century happened in the month of March. The 1964 Tsunami, which killed 13 people in California and destroyed most the town of Crescent City in Humboldt County. Although not nearly as destructive, the Japan Tsunami in 2011 caused significant damage to California’s harbors.

Letter from California Governor Commemorating Tsunami Preparedness Week
Letter from Governor

This week is Tsunami Preparedness Week in California. Whether you live along the coast or just visit the beach on occasion, it’s important to know what the hazards are and how to keep you and your family safe.  Governor Newsom has also encouraged individuals and communities to take steps in becoming better prepared for tsunami disasters.

Be counted among people and organizations worldwide by registering your 2019 tsunami preparedness activities and “know your zone” by visiting  There are numerous events, exercises, educational forums and more happening throughout the state. You can find out about all the various activities by visiting Tsunami events.

NOAA’s National Tsunami Warning Center offers complete information, including the current status of tsunami warnings, advisories and watches, and 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 is available at

Finally, watch this video to see the simple and easy steps you should take to make sure you know the warning signs of a tsunami and are prepared.


Robb Mayberry

Robb Mayberry is a Public Information Officer for the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services. He has assisted in the response and recovery efforts with some of California’s worst disasters, including the San Refugio Oil Spill, the Valley and Butte Wildfires, Aliso Canyon Gas Leak, Erskine Fire, the Winter Storms of 2017, the Tubbs Fire, the Thomas Fire, the Carr Fire, the Camp Fire, and the Ridgecrest Earthquake. Prior to public service, he spent 25 years managing the public and media relations for some of Northern California’s largest healthcare organizations.

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