New tsunami hazard maps highlight threat facing seven California counties — even Napa Valley
A pair of maps created by the U.S. Geological Survey show how a massive Pacific Ocean tsunami would pose a threat to each of the seven California counties as the Pacific Northwest region continues to ride out the effects of the massive earthquake and tsunami that was centered off the coast of Japan.
The maps, released Jan. 7, show tsunamis caused by the Japanese earthquake, as well as some of the areas that would be inundated by these waves, as it were. The maps reveal to residents of Santa Rosa, Solano, Contra Costa and portions of Napa County that a tsunami could occur even if the quake that caused it is not felt in those areas.
“The maps will make sure no resident in any of these seven counties will have to worry about being completely buried in the rubble,” said California Highway Patrol spokesman Lt. Brian Schubert.
Schubert said the county police patrol all public beaches and use their emergency radio system to alert them to any tsunami waves coming their way.
“We are prepared,” Schubert said.
Napa County officials also have a system in place to let residents know when the beach is being treated. The system works like a smoke or heat siren, and by alerting residents through an electronic message or telephone message, that system helps keep people from being swamped by the wave.
“We have a special radio system that we use in Napa County to alert residents when the beach is being treated,” said Napa County Board President John Peduto. “The system notifies so that the community may take some safe precautions.”
The maps reveal that the tsunami could inundate about 7.1 square miles — about 5 percent of the coast in question — or 15 percent of the county.
The information is part of the second phase of the USGS’ tsunami hazard maps produced by GPHI, using ground-penetrating radar to create the 3-