Tsunami warning test imminent

On March 30, the National Weather Service will be testing the tsunami warning communications system in Juneau and other coastal Alaska communities.

“The intention is to test from British Columbia border to the tip of the Aleutians,” said Audrey Rubel, a physical scientist with the NWS, which is a part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The Alaska Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management and the Alaska Broadcasters Association will be working with the NWS to put on the test, which will be broadcast on local television and radio stations. Tsunami sirens will also be a part of the test in communities that have them. (Juneau does not.)

Each year, the National Weather Service tests the tsunami warning communications system, and the tests often cause confusion, according to Rubel.

To minimize this, the test will be canceled if there is strong seismic activity in the 24 hours before the test, which is scheduled for 10:15 a.m. March 30. The NWS also warned that the scrolling TV warning messages may not include the word “test,” but the accompanying audio message will. Siren audio, too, may not include the word “test.”

The test is scheduled to take place in the middle of Tsunami Preparedness Week, which runs from March 27 to April 2.

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