Around 1:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018 a magnitude 7.9 earthquake occurred in the Gulf of Alaska approximately 175 miles southeast of Kodiak City, Alaska. Due to the proximity and magnitude of the earthquake, a tsunami threat existed along the Pacific Coast. This earthquake prompted an immediate Tsunami Watch for California and the Humboldt County Emergency Operations Center was activated.
In the event of an earthquake and possible tsunami, the National Weather Service has systems in place enabling staff to monitor the situation and assess the level of threat. Based on available information about the earthquake and analysis by local technical specialists, it was determined that there was not a significant threat to the Humboldt County coastline Tuesday morning and evacuations were not ordered. Because of this, the Humboldt Alert Emergency Notification System was not activated.
The Humboldt Alert Emergency Notification system allows the Humboldt County Office of Emergency Services to contact thousands of residents in minutes in the event of an emergency. The Humboldt Alert system is a voluntary subscription. Humboldt County residents must sign up to receive emergency notifications. To sign up for Humboldt Alert, visit https://humboldtgov.org/2014/Emergency-Notifications.
In the event of a tsunami warning for a distant source tsunami, the National Weather Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will send a wireless emergency alert, in addition to Humboldt Alert emergency messaging.
Mass emergency notifications and sirens are not intended for local source tsunamis generated by local earthquakes. In the event of strong ground shaking lasting longer than 20 seconds, residents should evacuate from tsunami zones on foot and then check for warnings. The first surge from a local source tsunami could arrive in as few as ten minutes, and surges could continue for 12 hours or longer.
Follow the Humboldt County Office of Emergency Services on Facebook (www.facebook.com/HumboldtCountyOES) and Twitter (@HumCoOES) for emergency updates and preparation tips.