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Lifeguards unveil new beach signs for Tsunami Awareness Week

Signs show danger zones, evacuation routes
Posted: 6:13 PM, Mar 23, 2017
Updated: 2017-03-24 13:37:05-04

LA JOLLA, Calif. (KGTV)--Tsunami Awareness Week begins Monday in San Diego, and lifeguards want to make sure the public knows what to do when the waters rise.

"Information is power, and we want to give people an understanding," says Lt. John Sandmeyer from the San Diego Fire & Rescue Department.

They're putting up new signs in Mission Beach, Mission Bay and La Jolla Shores. The signs highlight the tsunami danger zones as well as evacuation routes to safe spaces.

"The reality is, it is a threat. It's not a gimmick. Tsunamis are a big threat along the coast of San Diego," Lt. Sandmeyer says.

In the last 100 years, 11 notable tsunamis have hit San Diego shores. Most recently, 2011, from the earthquake in Japan that damaged the Fukishima Nuclear Power Plant.

That tsunami caused around $3 million dollars damage in San Diego. Most of it came when a bait barge came off its moorings in Quivira Basin and hit boats and docks.

No one was injured by that tsunami, but the danger exists.

"If we have a storm surge and a high tide, even a small tsunami that comes into the bay could be dangerous," says Geologist Cindy Pridmore. "We want people to stay away from the water because it could be a lot more dangerous than we think."