Photo by John Schreiber.
Photo by John Schreiber.

If you’re concerned about a deadly earthquake hitting the Southland, here’s something to worry about even more: We could be inundated by a giant killer tsunami.

So with that concern in mind, officials Wednesday conducted a test of the tsunami warning communications system. A tsunami is sometimes referred to by members of the public as a tidal wave.

The emergency test was sent out at 10:18 a.m. by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the governor’s Office of Emergency Services, as part of Tsunami Preparedness Week, said Ken Kondo of Los Angeles County’s Office of Emergency Management.

Some television systems were programmed to scroll a standard message indicating the broadcast is a test, along with an audio message also saying that it is only a test. However, in some cases, the written message may not have contained the word “test.”

If there had been excessive seismic activity overnight, the test would have been canceled to avoid confusion with an actual alert.

County officials urged residents to be prepared for natural disasters such as earthquakes and tsunamis.

“A first step is to find out if you live, work or recreate in a potential tsunami inundation zone by visiting TsunamiZone.org,” said Jeff Reeb, director of the county’s Office of Emergency Management. “In addition to knowing what are tsunami warning signs, keep yourself and your loved ones safe by developing a family emergency plan.”

Residents can also connect with local officials to organize a “tsunami walk” or evacuation drill.

More information is available here or by calling 211.

—City News Service

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