Quakeless alert shakes up coast.Byline: Winston Ross The Register-Guard
FLORENCE - For months, emergency managers have been urging coastal residents to heed a clear, simple message: If you feel an earthquake or hear a tsunami warning, do not wait for further updates. Do not call 911. Do not call the television station. Run for high ground.
On Wednesday, that message got a little muddy.
The National Weather Service accidentally issued a tsunami warning for parts of the Oregon Coast The Oregon Coast is a geographical term that is used to describe the coast of Oregon along the Pacific Ocean. Stretching 362 miles from Astoria to the California border, the Oregon Coast is unique in that the whole coastline is public land. at 10:16 a.m., which activated the state's emergency alert system and interrupted television and radio broadcasts in Portland, Eugene and along the coast, among other places.
The agency was testing its internal systems and didn't mean for the bulletin to reach the public, said Tyree Wilde, the weather service's warning coordination meteorologist in Portland.
"It was an inadvertent mistake we made," he said.
The bulletin did indeed reach the public, with a confusing string of information that began as a tsunami warning, then reported that an earthquake occurred in Eureka, Calif., at 7:46 p.m. and that the tsunami's estimated arrival time was about 10 p.m. Somewhere in the message came a reference to a "test," but only careful listeners and viewers picked that up.
The false alarm prompted confused citizens to flood telephone lines at radio and television stations, at the Oregon Emergency Management office and at police and fire agencies. Hotels in Yachats began evacuation procedures before they learned that the warning was simply a test. Some people actually did evacuate e·vac·u·ate
1. To empty or remove the contents of.
2. To excrete or discharge waste matter, especially of the bowels. their homes, though it appears that most were skeptical enough to wait for more information.
"We've tried to tell people if you hear something, don't call the radio stations, don't call the TV, just go," said Abby Kershaw, section director at Oregon Emergency Management. "If you're going to tell people that, you can't start putting a bunch of caveats on it. It's definitely frustrating frus·trate
tr.v. frus·trat·ed, frus·trat·ing, frus·trates
a. To prevent from accomplishing a purpose or fulfilling a desire; thwart: for us."
This is the second warning in six months that wasn't followed by a tsunami.
The first alert, on June 14, resulted from a real earthquake off the coast near Crescent City Crescent City is the name of the following places:
(operating system) spawn - To create a child process in a multitasking operating system. E.g. chaos on the coast and exposed alarming gaps in preparedness at all levels of government and among the public.
The National Weather Service issued two conflicting bulletins. Only a handful of coastal cities evacuated e·vac·u·ate
v. e·vac·u·at·ed, e·vac·u·at·ing, e·vac·u·ates
a. To empty or remove the contents of.
b. To create a vacuum in.
2. their residents. Some warning sirens and portable weather radios didn't work. Many people hopped in their cars and got stuck in traffic jams, or headed to the sea to watch the waves roll in.
This time, there was no such panic; but plenty of confusion.
KEZI-TV news director Sean McClelland said the warning automatically scrolled across the television screens, because the emergency alert system is linked directly to the station's master control.
"We were watching it as it came out," McClelland said. "It goes straight on the air."
A few minutes later, the station issued a retraction In the law of Defamation, a formal recanting of the libelous or slanderous material.
Retraction is not a defense to defamation, but under certain circumstances, it is admissible in Mitigation of Damages. Cross-references
Libel and Slander. , which it ran several times.
"We've got thousands of viewers panicked along the coast, calling us, trying to get some information," McClelland said.
Coburg resident Larry Thrash thrash - To move wildly or violently, without accomplishing anything useful. Paging or swapping systems that are overloaded waste most of their time moving data into and out of core (rather than performing useful computation) and are therefore said to thrash. learned of the warning by telephone. His brother lives in Astoria, he said.
"That scared me," Thrash said. "I got on NOAA NOAA
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Noun 1. NOAA - an agency in the Department of Commerce that maps the oceans and conserves their living resources; predicts changes to the earth's environment; , they didn't have anything. I was a little concerned."
The morning was frustrating for emergency officials.
"It makes our job more difficult," said Tony Bieda, Lane County's intergovernmental relations manager, who suggested that people should now wait for two confirmed sources of information before heeding tsunami warnings. "We have to go back and re-educate re·ed·u·cate also re-ed·u·cate
tr.v. re·ed·u·cat·ed, re·ed·u·cat·ing, re·ed·u·cates
1. To instruct again, especially in order to change someone's behavior or beliefs.
2. folks about here's the primary way you should expect to be notified, and here are the secondary and tertiary ways you can check and double-check that.
"But that's what we're here for. I'm just concerned members of the public now won't heed a bona fide [Latin, In good faith.] Honest; genuine; actual; authentic; acting without the intention of defrauding.
A bona fide purchaser is one who purchases property for a valuable consideration that is inducement for entering into a contract and without suspicion of being warning and make the situation worse."
Other officials were more optimistic op·ti·mist
1. One who usually expects a favorable outcome.
2. A believer in philosophical optimism.
op . Yachats fire chief Frankie Petrick said the phones rang off the hook all morning with confused callers, but everyone was calm.
"They didn't call 911," she said. "They called me, to see if it was in fact a test and whether they should evacuate. I didn't have one hysterical caller."
Oregon geologist and tsunami expert George Priest heard the warning on C-SPAN as he sipped his tea on Wednesday morning, but was able to decipher Same as decrypt. the word "test" about 30 seconds into it, so he knew something wasn't right with it.
"I think it woke people up a bit," he said. "The other positive thing is maybe (the weather service) learned something about their hardware."