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L.A. Releases Tsunami Survival Guides for Coastal Communities

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A disaster like last week's massive earthquake and ensuing tsunami in Japan will provoke not only sympathy and outreach from Angelenos, but also signals a need to be aware and prepared for what a tsunami could mean for us here. To that end, the City of Los Angeles has released a set of three guides for each of three coastal regions that explain what a tsunami is, and how locals can be prepared and survive.

Residents of Venice, the Harbor area, and West Los Angeles have their own evacuation areas, each of which are mapped out in the brochures that are available for download as .PDF files from the City's publication portal.

Comparisons to global disasters is as natural as the disasters themselves, however the Daily Breeze points out: "Off the coast of Southern California, there are no known subduction zones capable of producing a tsunami similar to the one that devastated the northern Japan port city of Sendai."

Regardless, the guides explain the two kinds of tsunamis to which Los Angeles' coasts are susceptible. A "local tsunami" can hit about 10 minutes after a local earthquake, and in that case, there will not likely be time for a tsunami warning to be issued. The second kind, a "Pacific-Wide Tsunami" is the result of a quake elsewhere in the Pacific region, and a tsunami warning issued means residents should follow evacuation procedures.

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Other information in the guides are what should be in your emergency kit, what a tsunnami sign looks like, and where and when to evacuate.

The timing of the release of these documents is eerily close to National Tsunami Awareness & Preparedness Week, which is coming up from March 20th through March 26th. Last year, LAist took a look at what that meant to us in Los Angeles, and in the aftermath of the 8.8 Chilean earthquake that sent tsunami waves to our shores. In late 2009, California released new maps of tsunami zones, including those in Los Angeles.