Tsunami Warning Test Today in Del Norte, Humboldt, and Mendocino Counties (Except for Shelter Cove)

There will be a tsunami warning test this morning along the coastline. However, Shelter Cove, will unloose their tsunami sirens—all six of them—on Thursday at 10 a.m. (“There will be a Tsunami walk from the Community Clubhouse up to the Fire Station, led by JO JO the Fire Dog,” according to Cheryl Antony, spokesperson for Shelter Cove Fire.)

Below is information on most of the rest of the Tsunami warning tests.

tsunami hazard signPress release from the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Department:

WHEN: Wednesday, March 24, 2021, between 11:00 a.m. & 12:00 Noon

WHERE: Del Norte, Humboldt, and Mendocino counties.

HOW: Interruptions of TV* and Radio Stations, and activation of NOAA Weather Radios and Outdoor Sirens.

*Not all Cable and Satellite TV Stations may be able to participate

WHY: To test the Tsunami Warning System to ensure it works properly during a real tsunami emergency.

If you are watching television between 11:00 a.m. and 12:00 Noon on Wednesday morning, expect to see a crawler at the bottom of the screen indicating that a tsunami warning has been issued, and hear a voice indicating that it is only a test. If you don’t hear the TV audio, please remember that this is only a test. If you are listening to the radio, you will hear alerting tones followed by a voice announcing that the test is occurring. If you have a NOAA weather radio with the Public Alert feature, the radio will automatically turn on and you will hear the same message as broadcast on radios. In some areas, you may also hear the sounding of a tsunami siren, an airplane testing its public address system, or receive other communication tests in some local jurisdictions. The Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) system that comes across smart phones will NOT be activated for this test.

Please help us by providing any feedback regarding this test by emailing:

[email protected]

When you hear or see the warning test on March 24 between 11:00 a.m. & 12:00 Noon:

• You do NOT need to take any action
• Do NOT call 911 or local authorities
• Do NOT evacuate your home or business


PREPARE: Find out more about preparing for earthquakes, tsunamis or any other disasters on the North Coast at http://humboldt.edu/shakyground, or contact the American Red Cross: Humboldt, Del Norte, Lake, and Mendocino counties – (707) 832-5480. America’s PrepareAthon! (http://www.community.fema.gov/), the Great California Shakeout (https://www.shakeout.org/california/), and The Tsunami Zone (https://www.TsunamiZone.org) are great places to get preparedness information for natural hazards.

The test is conducted by the National Weather Service, the California Office of Emergency Services, the Offices of Emergency Services for Del Norte, Humboldt, and Mendocino Counties, and Tribal Governments. For more information, contact: National Weather Service (707) 443-6484.



  • Their tsunami tests and sirens are a wonderful thing.
    With increasing Sneaker Wave warnings thru PSA and signage,
    I have thought that this same warning system should be able to be used and pick up large wave swells, that becomes Sneaker waves and use the same buoys and other sirens to produce an annoying sound to alert people to look up and pay attention. I think this could save vessels and lives.
    There’s your next bi$$ion dollar idea!

  • There is a YT channel called “FNN311” with videos from the 3/11 tsunami in Japan. Some of the scariest crap I have ever seen. Eureka would be wasted if that happened here.

    • Angela Robinson

      For some reason (which I knew but have forgotten) Crescent City gets hammered.

      Also a couple of places in Oregon (Cannon Beach got hit pretty hard in the 1964 Good Friday quake in AK). I remember the ’64 tsunami, though I think they were called tidal waves back then. One little girl and her family moved from Crescent City right after. There was some sadness around her, but I don’t remember if she had lost family. That was second grade in Eureka.

      In the 2011 tsunami, my cousin’s boat was really banged up in the Crescent City harbor.

      It seems odd that the Samoa peninsula hasn’t been breached. The 2011 tsunami also hit Santa Cruz if memory serves. I have never had a desire to live on the Samoa peninsula for that reason, especially before the bridge was built.

      Up here, in Newport, we don’t have a tsunami warning system in place yet, though the evacuation signs have been up for years. It’s being “discussed” right now, though it should have been done years ago.

      After the 2011 quake, the local fire and police depts. drove down every street that could be impacted, sirens blaring and knocking on every door (which was very much appreciated). We live up above the danger zone and had gotten a call from the Port in the wee hours. I called my friends who did live in the danger zone and told them to grab the kids, cats, whatever and get up to our house. By the time the fire truck arrived on her street, my best friend was already getting in her car (with her cat).

      Fortunately there was only a slight rise in water, a couple of feet at most. And yet, CC got hammered, again.

      Though, in such heavily populated and relatively low level places along Humboldt Bay, I can’t imagine how that would work. The going street by street, door to door.

      Kodiak has had, since 1964, a siren horn all through the city that is for tsunami warnings. Tested every Wed. at noon.

      If the Cascadia Subduction Zone unzips, though, the time to get out and up will be much less.

      Forgot to add, when we got the call, my husband wanted to take the boat out to sea, to save it. I said something to the effect of “F*ck the boat, just get that one crewman off of it” (he was staying on the boat at the time). Which he finally did, and the crewman also came up to our house.

      • It has to do with the shape of the ocean floor west of Crescent City.

        • Yes. I was just looking up why. This is from an article right around the 2011 tsunami:

          “Why is Crescent City so vulnerable to tsunamis? Apparently the main culprit is the Mendocino Fracture Zone, an underwater elevation extending westward that guides tsunamis into deeper water, where they pick up speed as they approach the mainland. The West Coast’s topography around Crescent City curves inland, which intensifies a tsunami’s effect, and the shoreline of Crescent City itself is (as the name suggests) a curve within that curve.”


          The Mendo fracture zone surprises me, but thinking about, I think I understand it.

          I wonder of there is something similar going on at Santa Cruz. Maybe the Monterey Bay submarine canyon?

  • Once again, Trinity county is left out on the coordinated preparedness!

    • I don’t think Trinity is at risk for a tsunami.

      • But are you sure?

        In seriousness, FEMA had a massive exercise a few years back for a Cascadia rupture involving 60,000 emergency personnel to simulate a post Cascadia rescue and recovery. They got their asses kicked, learned lots of lessons. The problem is FEMA only involved OR and WA and excluded NorCal for unknown reasons. There is another one planned for later this year and as far as I have seen NorCal is still not invited to join.

        The Cascadia Rising: After Action Report by either FEMA or DHS is worth a read, but it will keep you up at night. Definitely something we should be included on for planning purposes to get resources in here ASAP. Roads will be gone and the harbor entrance will most likely be clogged with tsunami debris. FYI plan what you will do with your poop for 1-2 years and have a month or more of food and water on hand. Fresh water sources will be contaminated by people who didn’t plan with what to do with their poop so forget that.

        • Angela Robinson

          If you are talking about the Cascadia Rising exercise about 5 years ago, that wasn’t FEMA, but OR,WA, and ID (Idaho!) getting together.

          I think another one is planned for next year as well.

          Don’t know why Northern California wasn’t included in it, maybe a jurisdictional thing, CA being separate, on it’s own. It should have been. The CSZ goes down to Cape Mendocino and the triple junction.

          But is wasn’t a FEMA directed thing so much. FEMA and DHS were invited, invited themselves, something like that, but they didn’t initiate it. FEMA did issue a report, sure, but I think it was a UDub thing at first.

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