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California’s earthquake swarm: How residents are preparing for a tsunami

California’s earthquake swarm: How residents are preparing for a tsunami

New tsunami hazard maps highlight threat facing seven California counties — even Napa County — The earthquake swarm in Alaska could turn into a killer tsunami

In the face of a potentially devastating tsunami, residents living in three California counties are facing a more than 300-foot tidal surge at their local beaches.

Trouble is, residents in the three counties aren’t getting the warning information they need to prepare.

“We don’t see any notice of big waves or of a tsunami,” said California State University professor David Beier. “There’s kind of a communication gap … especially when you travel from the coast to the interior of the state.”

The lack of warning and information that could have reduced the risk of tragedy has prompted more questions than answers in these three counties.

“It’s going to be a tsunami,” said Beier, who is leading a statewide research team that was formed as a result of a statewide earthquake alert system called California Emergency Alert System.

The tsunami, experts say, would turn into a more deadly category of storm surge with the potential to kill or injure those living near the coast.

“If it’s a storm surge, you want to have a surge warning system [in place],” Beier said. “If that’s not in place, the tsunami will come out of this earthquake swarm … and it will destroy the houses, and it will end up killing everyone.”

In this article series, we will explore the latest information on California’s earthquake swarm and update you on how residents of these three counties are preparing and monitoring their lives.

More than a thousand earthquakes have rattled California since 6:30 a.m. March 11, but it’s nearly impossible for anyone living in the coastal and inland areas to know exactly when the next earthquake will strike.

California is not seismically active, but earthquakes of this magnitude can be deadly. Here’s how residents can protect themselves.

A look back on a rare March

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