PO Box 101 ~ 300 Memorial Drive, South Bend, WA 98586
(360) 875-9340 Office ~ (360) 875-9341 EOC ~ (360) 875-9342 Fax

Friday, March 11, 2011

Pacific County Recommends Residents Move to High Ground

March 11, 2011 3:10 a.m.
Release # 1

Contact: Stephanie Fritts, Director
Pacific County Emergency Management Agency
(360) 875-9340 or sfritts@co.pacific.wa.us

South Bend, Washington – The Pacific County Emergency Management Agency was notified early this morning that the county was under a tsunami watch as the result of a large earthquake in Japan that resulted in a damaging tsunami. The watch status was then changed to an advisory.

An advisory is issued due to the threat of a potential tsunami which may produce strong currents or waves dangerous to those in or near the water. Coastal regions historically prone to damage due to strong currents induced by tsunamis are at the greatest risk. The threat may continue for several hours after the arrival of the initial wave, but significant widespread inundation is not expected for areas under an advisory. Advisories are normally updated to continue the advisory, expand/contract affected areas, upgrade to a warning, or cancel the advisory.

The Pacific County Sheriff’s Office is activating a telephonic warning system early this morning to advise Long Beach Peninsula residents and additional residents in low lying areas to move to high ground. The tsunami is expected to impact the Pacific County coastline at 7:05 a.m., with a wave height between one and ten feet. Residents who need assistance with evacuation should contact the Pacific County EOC at 642-9341 or 875-9341. Residents who evacuate should wait for the all clear before returning to the area. Tune to local media for further information.

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  1. When will the sirens go off? Are we safe if we go up to the J Place ridge in Surfside? I have not gotten any info on where to go or when to go. I feel like I am just sitting here waiting to be washed out to sea! When I called the sheriff's non-emergency # the woman didn't have any answers. Where can I get answers?

  2. The sirens are #1) an outdoor system - this event happened at night. As a result PCEMA utilized the telephonic warning system, as many people do not hear the sirens indoors and #2) the sirens are currently designed to be used only for tsunami warnings. The siren have embedded "chips" with warning messages that are transmitted in an actual event. In the future, the intent is to be able to use the sirens with a dynamic voice message - meaning that the Pacific County 911 Center could speak over the siren system. The goal is to reach that capability within the next 6 months.

    The designated assembly area in that community is the Surfside Inn and golf course parking areas. You can view the tsunami evacuation brochures for all areas of Pacific County on our website at http://www.co.pacific.wa.us/pcema/TsunamiEvac.htm. It is important to know your evacuation routes and to be personally prepared for a minimum of 72 hours.