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False tsunami alarm wakes Huntington Beach residents

A surfer leaves the water at Huntington Beach Pier. Early Feb. 7, a tsunami alarm sounded across the city, but officials said it was made in error.
A surfer leaves the water at Huntington Beach Pier. Early Feb. 7, a tsunami alarm sounded across the city, but officials said it was made in error.
(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

Some Huntington Beach residents got a rude awakening Friday morning when an emergency tsunami alarm sounded at multiple locations in the city, authorities said.

Despite the alarm that went off about 4 a.m., “there is no current threat to our community,” the Huntington Beach Police Department said on Facebook shortly afterward.

Officials have determined the errant alarm was the result of a malfunction in the system that controls the sirens at Huntington Beach’s fire stations.

“This siren system is just one of multiple systems that are used to notify residents of an emergency,” according to a statement from the city. “It is a priority of the city to resolve the issue as quickly as possible and we apologize for any inconvenience.”

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The system has been taken offline temporarily until the issue is resolved, the city added.

The emergency sirens are typically tested on the first Friday of each month at noon. Friday’s scheduled test was canceled following the false alarm.

Reactions to the false alarm ranged from lighthearted to annoyed.

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“Good thing that person wasn’t in charge of nuclear weapons,” one resident wrote in response to the department’s post.

“I guess I’m screwed if there’s a real emergency,” another added. “I tossed and turned all night yet didn’t hear a thing.”


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