A bald eagle sits on top of a tsunami warning tower on the Homer Spit. -Photo by Michael Armstrong, Homer News

A bald eagle sits on top of a tsunami warning tower on the Homer Spit. -Photo by Michael Armstrong, Homer News

Officials to test Alaska Tsunami Warning System

As part of Tsunami Preparedness Week, local, state and federal agencies will conduct a test of the Alaska Tsunami Warning System at 9:45 a.m. Wednesday, March 27, the 49th anniversary of the 1964 Great Alaska earthquake. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Weather Service, the Alaska Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, local emergency management offices and the Alaska Broadcasters Association are cooperating in the test.

Tsunami warning towers on the Homer Spit, along Ocean Drive and at Bishop’s Beach will sound off with a different alert from the weekly test of the sirens. The audio may not contain the word “test” and may sound like an actual warning.

Radio listeners should hear the familiar alerting tone followed by an audio message describing the test, similar to the routine monthly tests of the emergency alert system.

The public can participate in the test by monitoring NOAA weather radio, radio and television broadcasts for the alert system message. The public also can provide feedback online at ready.alaska.gov/survey.

Gov. Sean Parnell proclaimed March 24 to 30 as Tsunami Preparedness Week. The week coincides with the anniversary of the Great Alaska earthquake, also known as the Good Friday earthquake, a devastating 9.2 magnitude earthquake that triggered deadly tsunamis in Alaska on Good Friday, March 27, 1964.

If there is excessive earthquake activity on Wednesday, the test will be canceled.

Michael Armstrong can be reached at michael.armstrong@homernews.com.

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