SF receives tsunami preparedness certification

December 9, 2008 12:40:30 PM PST
Officials today said San Francisco has met federal qualifications for tsunami preparedness, and is the most populous city in the country to do so.

Having completed the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's TsunamiReady recognition program means the city has established a variety of warning and education measures, including an emergency operations center, local weather monitoring, community outreach seminars and a formal hazardous weather plan, officials said.

"Tsunamis, although rare, are a real threat to the city since seismic activity is possible from the Cascadia Subduction zone located just offshore," said Mark Tew, deputy director of the National Weather Service Western Region.

San Francisco is one of 60 communities nationwide, and 15 in California, that have qualified as TsunamiReady, including Half Moon Bay, and San Mateo and Orange counties, according to NOAA.

The last tsunami event to have directly affected California was Nov. 15, 2006, when waves caused damage in Crescent City near the Oregon border, NOAA spokesman Matt Ocana said.

The TsunamiReady certification must be renewed every three years, according to the NOAA.