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WCSO Emergency Management vehicle (August 8, 2016). Photo: Whatcom News

Emergency alert systems including tsunami sirens to be activated Thursday

Thursday, October 21st, at 10:21am, the National Tsunami Warning Center (NTWC) and the National Weather Service will conduct warning communications tests. The test will occur simultaneously with the Great Washington Shakeout statewide earthquake drill, part of a global earthquake preparedness effort.

All 122 coastal tsunami sirens in Washington state, including those in Whatcom County, will be activated at 10:21am. This activation will use the real wailing sound of the siren for approximately 2 minutes, not Westminster Chimes as happens during regular monthly tests.

Whatcom County tsunami sirens are located in Blaine, Birch Bay, Lummi peninsula, Point Roberts, Sandy Point and the Port of Bellingham.

In addition, National Weather Service offices will perform a required monthly test message via the 22 NOAA weather radio stations serving the state by activating FEMA’s Emergency Alert System (EAS). Radio and television broadcasters will carry the EAS message to help reach more of the public, along with those who have all-hazard weather radio receivers.

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The public is encouraged to share this information and not to call 911 when these alert tests are activated.

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