City of San Diego implements tsunami signage plan
If a tsunami ever comes, La Jolla and the rest of San Diego will be ready for it — which wasn’t true in 2006, when a San Diego County Grand Jury report found the city “inadequately prepared” to offer advance warning to evacuate in case of a tidal wave.
More than three years later, that shortcoming is finally being rectified.
The city of San Diego Tsunami Evacuation Signage Project has identified more than 50 sites for emergency sign placement along the city’s 70-mile coastline.
Ten of those signs in and around La Jolla Shores and as far north as Torrey Pines State Beach are currently being installed. They direct traffic away from tsunami inundation areas detailed in maps provided by the National Weather Service and the State of California Emergency Management Agency.
Solana Beach and the vast majority of Del Mar are not at nearly as much of a tsunami risk as other parts of coastal San Diego County. That’s because the beaches in these cities are lined with bluffs that would tower over any 36-foot tall tidal wave.
The one part of Del Mar that would be susceptible is North Beach, or the stretch of Highway 101 that connects the two cities. Solana Beach Deputy Fire Chief Dismus Abelman said in the event of a warning, people in the area should walk, not drive, either 100 feet north or south to the parts of 101 that are protected by the large bluffs.
Officials say the tsunami maps reflect recent advances in tsunami research, more accurately predicting where and how far inland tsunamis could penetrate along the coast. They show “inundation lines” where water from a tsunami could go, enabling localities to develop corresponding “evacuation lines.”
To view a tsunami inundation map, go to www.conservation.ca.gov/cgs/geologic_hazards/Tsunami/Inundation_Maps/San
Staff writer Jonathan Horn contributed to this report.
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