Watch, not advisory or warning

Chart shows different warning threats.

Seaside’s Dispatch Center received 107 non-emergency line phone calls and 10 911 calls after a tsunami watch overnight.

At about 1:30 a.m. Tuesday, a 7.9 magnitude earthquake struck 174 miles off Kodiak, Alaska. This immediately triggered a tsunami watch, not an advisory or a warning, for coastal areas from northern Washington to southern California, including Seaside, the city’s Public Information Officer Jon Rahl said.

Had this watch risen to the levels of advisory or warning, direct messaging — including use of the city’s tsunami warning system — would have alerted residents and visitors by using Nixle alerts, alarm towers, social media channels, among potential ways of reaching the public, Rahl said.

The dispatch center was carefully monitoring the event, he added. “If the event had risen to a level where tsunami wave actions were imminent for our area, the system would have pushed out messaging indicating as such.”

By definition, a “watch” means there is the potential for an event to happen and details are still unknown. Next on the scale is an “advisory” which means strong currents and waves have been noted. A “warning” addresses the final level of notification which indicates that dangerous coastal flooding and powerful currents are likely or imminent.

To sign up for local Nixle alerts, text 888777 and type in your ZIP code. Follow the Seaside Police Department, City of Seaside and Seaside Fire on Facebook. National Weather Service alerts can be received by visiting weather.gov/alerts.

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