A short article by Heidi Walters in the North Coast Journal reveals some disturbing information about earthquake response, indicating that many of the most endangered residents of low-lying coastal areas are not adequately informed and prepared.
Apparently, instead of quickly heeding the National Weather Service tsunami warning after the 7.2 quake, too many residents called 911 for verification, not only clogging the lines for emergency calls, but had there really been a tsunami, endangering their own lives.
The facts outlined elsewhere on this site should be better known: that anyone living in low-lying coastal areas or who happens to be on the beach when they feel strong shaking, should immediately head for higher ground. Then you can safely inquire as to what the danger might be.
An earthquake offshore in the subduction zone may cause tsunami, and if it does, the water will reach the North Coast rapidly. In a really strong quake, the first wave could hit before the shaking stops. And the first wave may not be the biggest.
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