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O.C. alert system broke down during tsunami advisory

March 4, 2010 |  7:40 am

Tsunamimap2010-info-yellow Officials in Orange County found problems with the new AlertOC system when they try tried to notify residents of a possible tsunami surge last weekend.

As the system tried to dial out to an estimated 109,000 home and business land lines simultaneously, only about 34,000, or 30%, of those calls initially succeeded because the network was overloaded, officials said.

“It does have its limitations. That’s why it’s just one of our components to alert residents,” said Katie Eing, emergency services coordinator for the Newport Beach Fire Department

Only a fraction of the lines were reached because the local phone switches couldn’t handle the influx of outgoing calls, she said.

About 75,000 numbers didn’t receive the first call. A second round of calls connected an additional 15,000. Still, about 60,000 people were not given instructions to avoid the coast.

Read the full article here.

-- Joseph Serna, Daily Pilot

Map: A representation of the timing of Saturday's tsunami advisory. Credit: Los Angeles Times