Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

This is an archival story that predates current editorial management.

This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.


Tsunami Warning Signs Pop Up Along Coast

Before you
Dear reader, we're asking you to help us keep local news available for all. Your financial support keeps our stories free to read, instead of hidden behind paywalls. We believe when reliable local reporting is widely available, the entire community benefits. Thank you for investing in your neighborhood.

”Eventually, all coastal communities in California will have tsunami warning signs,” Troy Nicolini of the National Weather Service told the Redwood Times up north where many of the signs have been stolen, vandalized or damaged in the last five months. And now it appears they're starting to hit the Los Angeles area, according to the blogger at Good Story News who is not thrilled one bit:

TSUNAMI HAZARD ZONE? Now there's a good idea! Not RECREATION ZONE or BEACH VOLLEYBALL ZONE, but something sure to send a chill down the spine. And it was certainly good enough to scare the kids who were old enough to read, filling them with worry and dread as they stood on the wide expanse of beach and looked out toward the ocean. The signs are at every access road to the PCH from Santa Monica at least to Malibu and most likely farther along than that.


The "LEAVING TSUNAMI HAZARD ZONE" is what gives away the game. It's one thing to post reminders for those approaching the beach. But is it really necessary to find an arbitrary point, a few dozen yards from the PCH, to post a sign to assure the hapless beachgoer, running from the approaching tide, that he's safe? Is that really the boundary of the TSUNAMI HAZARD ZONE? What if the person fleeing a tsunami sees the sign, stops running, and is sucked into the surf?

Back up north, The Humboldt Beacon questions if the signs will drive down land value. "Now that these hazard areas have been carefully delineated, could land there be devalued since the risks of living there or running a business are at odds with Mother Nature?"
Support for LAist comes from

There's a whole slew of sign design choices at the California Department of Transportation website. The design savvy blog NOTCOT found one of the versions to be "inspiringly adorable."