Coastal residents head home following tsunami scare - KPTV - FOX 12

Coastal residents head home following tsunami scare

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While the threat of a tsunami watch was lifted early Tuesday, the alerts to the possible danger still gave many people on the Oregon coast a real scare.

The parking lot at restaurant Camp 18 was packed some 20 miles inland on Highway 26. Many people were heading back out to their cars to head back to their homes on the coast after learning the tsunami watch had been canceled.

Several of the coastal residents said as soon as they learned of the watch, they got in their cars and headed east, deciding the restaurant was a good spot to wait out a possible storm.

“One of my friends told me this was a safe place, so that’s why we came over here,” Seaside resident Alejandro Ramirez told FOX 12. “It’s always a little scary, and when you live on the coast, that’s a fear you always have.”

“At the beginning, I thought it was going to be a lot of traffic, a lot of chaos, but it was not that bad,” Ramirez added, also noting that there was a fair amount of traffic heading away from the coast.

No evacuation advisories were sent out anywhere along the Oregon or Washington coast.

Seaside City Manager Mark J. Winstanley told FOX 12 that the emergency services team monitored the reports about the tsunami watch. He noted that officials did not want call or message homeowners for only a watch, but would have done so if the threat became imminent.

Earlier this month city emergency services sent a false tsunami warning that incorrectly told thousands of residents that a tsunami would arrive in hours.

City officials said the system malfunctioned while sending a test message.

Winstanley said the equipment has since been fixed.

Officials in Lincoln County told FOX 12 they were happy with the speed in their response to the situation Tuesday.

The county’s “Lincoln Alerts” system worked as planned, and around 10 people from the emergency operations team were in early to coordinate potentials response plans and field phone calls from concerned residents.

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