October 31, 2020 #1 Local News, Forum, Information and Event Source for Venice Beach, California.

Preparing for a Tsunami

by Sam Catanzaro

What to do in Venice if a tsunami warning occurs. 

On April 5, a 5.3 magnitude earthquake occurred 48 miles off the coast of Catalina, causing some alarm in Venice about the prospect of a tsunami. Although this was the largest earthquake to strike Southern California in years, it was not large enough to trigger a tsunami warning from the National Weather Service.

Tsunamis are a rare event in Southern California; the last major one occurred in 1812. But tsunamis can be deadly and destructive disasters that can occur quickly, giving residents in low-lying coastal areas very little time to prepare.
Venice is one of the most vulnerable regions in Los Angeles, with many areas right at sea-level. And even though the April 5 earthquake did not produce a tsunami, it provided an opportunity for residents to learn about the tsunami alert system in place.

“The initial tsunami detection and warnings would come from the federal government through the NOAA Pacific Tsunami Warning Center,” said Kate Hutton, an Emergency Management Coordinator for the City of Los Angeles Emergency Management Program. “State and local governments would likely follow up with localized instructions, including evacuation routes and shelters.”

These local alerts would be sent through NotifyLA, the emergency alert system for the City of Los Angeles. Residents would also be alerted by social media and traditional media.

A tsunami inundation map for the Venice. Areas shaded red would flood in the event of a tsunami. Photo courtesy California Emergency Management Agency.

In Venice, the evacuation routes follow major east-west thoroughfares. These include Rose Avenue, Brooks Avenue, Venice Boulevard and Washington Boulevard. Abbot Kinney and Ocean Avenue are also part of the evacuation route, despite running parallel to the coast.

In the open ocean, tsunamis travel around 500 miles per hour. Once they near the coast, their speed is reduced to 30-40 miles an hour by the force of the sea floor in a process known as shoaling. The time it would take a tsunami to reach Venice depends on how far away the tsunami was generated.

“If the tsunami starts in Japan, we could have 12 or more hours. If it starts because of an underwater landslide near Catalina, it could be minutes,” Hutton said.

If a tsunami alert is sent out, emergency officials say that residents should begin the evacuation process immediately, getting away from the ocean to high ground as quick as possible.

“Never go down to the beach, harbor or coastline area to watch for a tsunami. When you can see the wave you are too close to escape. Tsunamis can move faster than a person can run,” warns the County of Los Angeles Department of Emergency Management on their website.

Because of the potential of having only minutes to evacuate, the City encourages coastal residents to sign up for emergency alerts at emergency.lacity.org/notifyla. In addition, residents should also have an emergency kit and “go-bag” prepared with everything they might need to evacuate. According to the City, these bags should include food and water, medications, a change of clothes plus comfortable shoes, copies of important documents, first-aid supplies and personal hygiene products. For pet owners, a pet carrier and leash should also be included.

Related Posts

10 City of LA Hotels and Apartments to be Converted Into Interim Housing

October 30, 2020

October 30, 2020

Los Angeles City Council approves $100M purchase By Toi Creel The City of Los Angeles is spending over $100 million...

What was the witch’s favorite school subject? Spelling

October 29, 2020

October 29, 2020

By Nick Melvoin LAUSD District 4 Board Member Board District 4 What was the witch’s favorite school subject? Spelling. Classes...

City Council Delays Vote on Encampment Ban

October 29, 2020

October 29, 2020

Controversial proposal delayed until November 24 By Sam Catanzaro Los Angeles lawmakers have delayed voting on a bill that would...

Edify TV: Have You Tried These Westside Donut Spots?

October 29, 2020

October 29, 2020

National Donut Day is Thursday, November 5th. Have you tried these doughy delights across the Westside of Los Angeles? Video...

LA County Considering Allowing Restaurants to Implement COVID-19 Surcharge

October 28, 2020

October 28, 2020

Plan would allow restaurants, breweries and wineries to add COVID-19 surcharge By Kerry Slater Los Angeles County is considering allowing...

Edify TV: Halloween Amid COVID-19

October 27, 2020

October 27, 2020

With LA County health officials prohibiting many Halloween activities and discouraging trick or treating, costume stores like Ursula’s Costumes in...

Local Spa Owner Admits Price Gouging in Sale of Scarce N95 Masks

October 27, 2020

October 27, 2020

Niki Schwarz, owner of Tikkun Holistic Spa, pleads guilty to federal charges A local day spa owner was charged this...

Reese-Davidson Project Hearing Postponed: YO! Venice Show – October, 26, 2020

October 26, 2020

October 26, 2020

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * Reese-Davidson Project Hearing Postponed * Early Voter Turnout Close To 50,000...

Two Developments with 100+ Units Underway Near Venice High School

October 25, 2020

October 25, 2020

Duo of multifamily apartments on Venice Boulevard beginning to rise By Kerry Slater Over a year after breaking ground, a...

Edify TV: Development Replacing Local Car Wash

October 25, 2020

October 25, 2020

A Sawtelle lot that once held a car wash will soon be the site of a multi-family housing development. Learn...

‘Recall Newsom’ Head Hanging From Venice Ballerina Clown

October 21, 2020

October 21, 2020

Cardboard cutout of Gov. Newsom’s head hanging from iconic Venice art installation By Sam Catanzaro A cardboard cutout painting of...

L.A. County COVID-19 Cases Partly Driven Teenagers

October 20, 2020

October 20, 2020

68 percent of new cases among people between ages of 12 and 50 By Sam Catanzaro Los Angeles County health...

Free Flu Shots at Palms Middle School for Students and Family

October 20, 2020

October 20, 2020

Los Angeles Unified and Health Net offering free vaccinations for seasonal flu to students and families By Chad Winthrop Los...

Mark Twain Middle School Community Raising Money to Restore Mural

October 19, 2020

October 19, 2020

Colorful mosaic mural in front of school in need of repair By Sam Catanzaro Mark Twain Middle School community members...