Elementary school students in Carmel Valley got a lesson Thursday on how to stay safe if a tsunami ever strikes San Diego by watching a locally produced animated short.
The six-minute film, "Tsunamis: Know What to Do,'' was created by the San Diego County Office of Emergency Services through a $30,0000 grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the California Emergency Management Agency.
Second- and third-graders at Del Mar Heights Elementary School were the first to view the educational film, which uses an animated crab to teach students about tsunamis, how to recognize warning signs that the destructive waves are on the way and to evacuate to safe areas.
"The potentially life-saving information in the tsunami video will teach children about how to recognize a tsunami and instill in them the urgency of moving to higher ground,'' said Jim Purpura, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in San Diego.
According to the county OES, tsunamis are rare in the county, but offshore faults and landslides are capable of generating locally-damaging tsunamis.
The video can be viewed at the OES' Web site at