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California Geological Survey releases new Tsunami Hazard Area map for Seal Beach

The California Geological Survey (CGS) has released a new Tsunami Hazard Area map for Orange County, useful for evacuation planning in an extraordinary event.

The map allows users to type in an address to determine whether the property is within a tsunami hazard area. Local tsunami evacuation material will be added to the online map interface as it is developed.

Working with the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES), these Tsunami Hazard Area maps include new data and improved computer modeling results, and replace maps published by CGS in 2009. The new maps are not only based on how
far inland a surge of seawater might go in a worst-case scenario but also include minor inland “buffers” to roads and landmarks to clarify where people must evacuate to be safe. These buffer areas also account for potential errors and uncertainties in the modeling.

While the new map for Orange County takes a variety of potential tsunami sources into account, the worst-case scenario would result from a magnitude 9.3 earthquake in the eastern Aleutian Islands.

The City of Seal Beach is a Tsunami Ready Community. This is a national certification issued by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the National Weather Service (NWS). To be recognized as a Tsunami Ready Community there are a variety of criteria that must be met. They are:

  • Establish a 24-hour warning point and emergency operations center
  • Have more than one way to receive tsunami warnings and alert the public
  • Promote public readiness through community education and distribution of information
  • Develop a formal tsunami plan, which includes holding emergency exercises
  • Comply with TsunamiReady guidelines

In partnership with Cal OES, NOAA, and Chapman University the Tsunami Evacuation Map located at a kiosk at the base of the pier will be updated in the next few weeks with the updated map (attached) as well as a second kiosk installed in the First Street Beach lot.

The maps will also be made available here: https://sealbeachpd.com/emergency-preparedness/.

Seal Beach Police Sergeant Brian Gray is the Emergency Services Coordinator for the City of Seal Beach. Although Sergeant Gray is assigned to the Police Department, he oversees Emergency Management for the entire City of Seal Beach. Emergency management is dealing with and avoiding disasters. Disasters can be natural, such as earthquakes, floods, and severe storms, or man-made, such as major transportation accidents, fires, and terrorism. Regardless of the cause of the disaster, emergency management is intended to be comprehensive to prepare for, mitigate, respond to, and recover from any disaster. There are four phases of emergency management that make up the “emergency life cycle”: mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery. These phases represent the various elements of a disaster. All phases are interconnected, and everyone has responsibilities in all four phases.

For additional information or questions about emergency preparedness, please contact: Emergency Services Coordinator Sergeant Brian Gray at (562) 799-4100 ext. 1658 or [email protected].

This article was released by the City of Seal Beach.