March 11, 2011
King County monitoring situation after earthquake disaster in Japan
No damage reported in Puget Sound region in wake of tsunami
No local impacts were felt in King County following the massive earthquake and tsunami in Japan, but King County emergency management officials are continuing to monitor the situation.
"Our thoughts go out to all those affected by this disaster," said King County Executive Dow Constantine. "While the tsunami didn't affect King County, our Office of Emergency Management has been on top of developments and coordinating with our partners throughout the region."
At around 8:45 a.m. Pacific time today, a small wave of 4.5 inches was recorded on the Seattle waterfront. The tsunami was smaller than a high tide, and no damage has been reported.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center issued an advisory for the Washington coast, forecasting waves of between two and five feet. The advisory means that widespread inundation was not expected, but currents in the area may be hazardous to swimmers, boats, and coastal structures for several hours after the initial wave.
Those who are looking for information about relatives who may have been affected by the quake and tsunami in Japan can check in with the American Red Cross Safe and Well Program or call the U.S. Department of State at 1-888-407-4747 or (202) 647-5225. For the latest news about the disaster in Japan, including links to Twitter accounts and other resources, visit the American Red Cross online newsroom.
"This tragedy overseas reminds us that our region is also at high risk from natural disasters," said Executive Constantine. "The time to prepare is before emergency strikes."
The Washington State Emergency Management Division offers these emergency preparedness tips.
· Review your disaster plan and preparedness procedures with your household.
· Check on neighbors, especially the elderly, and review your disaster plan with them.
· Listen to local media and monitor the Internet in an emergency, and be ready to follow instructions.
For more information on tsunamis and planning for emergencies, visit the Tsunami and Seiche page on the King County website.