The gist of the NYT report is that some residents of coastal Oregon are unhappy about the discontinuance of tsunami warning sirens. But in these matters what one has to look at is the science. Supporters of the county’s decision, including some coastal hazard experts, say that the sirens, comforting as they may sound in their monthly tests, are so vague in their wailing message — declaring only a tsunami in approach, with no indication of size or timing — that they may be, in a strange way, dangerous to public safety. The last time the sirens wailed, after the March 2011 earthquake in Japan, for example, which triggered tsunami alerts around much of the Pacific Rim, emergency managers here expected the tsunami hitting this part of Oregon to be small, which it was. The only evacuations they ordered were for residents living within a half mile of the shoreline.
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TO CONDUCT LIMITED TSUNAMI WARNING COMMUNICATIONS TEST ALONG U.S. WEST COAST NOAA’s National Weather Service will conduct a limited communications test of the Tsunami Warning System in the coastal areas of California, Oregon, and Washington on Wednesday, September 13, between 10:45 a.m. and 11:00 a.