A tsunami emergency warning system test will take place some time between noon and 1 p.m. Friday, June 15th, at Burton Chace Park, 13650 Mindanao Way, Marina del Rey, with a combination of sirens sounding and a verbal warning that states, “This is only a test,” said Lt. Greg Nelson of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
The Marina Harbor area is low-lying and susceptible to a tsunami, with the potential of a 30-foot wave triggered by an earthquake taking less than ten minutes to affect the area, not leaving much time for evacuations, Nelson said.
Testing of sirens — with the sound carrying approximately 3,000 up to 5,500 feet, depending on which device is chosen — could cover almost the entire Marina, and testing is currently being done in Hawaii, Northern California and some Asian countries, Nelson said.
The testing is taking place to determine the type of emergency warning system that is most effective for the area, where to place the device, and which of three companies taking part in this testing offer the most efficient product, said Nelson.
Burton Chace Park is a good area to place the testing devices — which will be on the back of trucks — covering Marina (Mothers) Beach, the basins and the jetty area, Nelson said.
The sirens have 24-hour monitors and function with the use of deep-cycle batteries, requiring no other maintenance or monthly testing, said Nelson. They cost approximately $25,000 per unit.
A warning by county, state or federal officials can be by voice or siren, live or pre-recorded, and can be applied to emergency situations other than tsunamis, said Nelson.
A warning system such as one using phone banks to call or text-message individuals is potentially risky because if the phone lines or cell towers are affected by an emergency, emergency information could not be disseminated, Nelson said.
Individuals need to be aware of what the tone sirens mean and voice broadcasts are often difficult to understand, said Nelson.
He added that the sirens are all compliant with OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) standards to avoid damaging eardrums, especially those of children.