RPIN: Japan tsunami was not a threat to Puget Sound

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Tsunami Hazard Zone sign
From the King County Regional Public Information Network (RPIN)

While the effects of the Japan tsunami are not expected to significantly impact King County, our Office of Emergency Management is closely monitoring the situation.  Our thoughts go out to all those affected by the disaster.

If you are looking for information about relatives who may have been affected by the quake and tsunami, you can check in with the American Red Cross Safe and Well Program or call the U.S. Department of State at 1-888-407-4747 or 202-647-5225. For the latest news about this incident, including links to Twitter accounts and other resources, visit the American Red Cross online newsroom.

After the quake, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center (PTWC) issued an alert for the U.S. West Coast. Around 8:45 a.m. Pacific Time, a small wave of about 4.5 inches was recorded on the Seattle waterfront. The tsunami was smaller than a high tide, and no damage has been reported. Tsunami waves between two and nine feet were reported in Hawaii overnight, and the PTWC forecasted waves of between two and five feet from California to Washington state. A tsunami advisory has been issued for the Washington coast, which means that widespread inundation and flooding is NOT expected. However, currents in the area may be hazardous to swimmers, boats, and coastal structures and may continue for several hours after the initial wave arrives.

While King County escaped harm this time, today’s tragedy in Japan serves as a reminder that our region is also at high risk from natural disasters. Take time to prepare now, before an emergency strikes. The Washington State Emergency Management Division offers these tips.
  • Review your disaster plan and preparedness procedures with your household.
  • Check on neighbors, especially the elderly, and review the disaster plan with them.
  • Listen to local media and monitor the Internet in an emergency, and be ready to follow instructions.
For more information on tsunamis and planning for emergencies, visit the King County website.


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