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Newport Beach to install sirens to warn of tsunamis, other disasters

September 24, 2010 |  7:51 am

Three emergency sirens that can be heard for a mile and a half will soon be installed in three Newport Beach parks.

The California Coastal Commission recently approved the color of the poles on top of which the sirens will be installed in West Newport, Veterans Memorial and West Jetty View parks, according to a map provided by Katie Eing, Newport Beach's emergency services coordinator.

Neighboring Huntington Beach has already installed similar sirens.

The original intent of the sirens, which sound a lot like the old air raid sirens from World War II, was to warn residents of an approaching tsunami so that everybody could move to higher ground.

But nowadays the sirens, which rotate 360 degrees, can be used to alert the public about any danger or disaster that would require immediate evacuation such as a gas leak or a wildfire, Eing said.

Hearing the sirens can also serve as a signal for residents to tune into emergency broadcasts on TV and radio.

It's all part of Newport Beach's emergency disaster plan, which includes a computer-generated telephone-calling system that automatically dials 108,000 telephone numbers in the city's disaster database and dispatches a police helicopter to warn Newport Beach residents.

Read the full story here.

--Tom Regan, Times Community News

Photo: Siren in Huntington Beach. Times Community News