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King County monitoring situation after Japan's earthquake disaster; no damage reported in Puget Sound in wake of tsunami

No local impacts were felt in King County following the massive earthquake and tsunami in Japan, but King County emergency management officials are continuing to monitor the situation.

“Our thoughts go out to all those affected by this disaster,” said King County Executive Dow Constantine. “While the tsunami didn’t affect King County, our Office of Emergency Management has been on top of developments and coordinating with our partners throughout the region.”

At around 8:45 a.m. Pacific time today, a small wave of 4.5 inches was recorded on the Seattle waterfront. The tsunami was smaller than a high tide, and no damage has been reported.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center issued an advisory for the Washington coast, forecasting waves of between two and five feet. The advisory means that widespread inundation was not expected, but currents in the area may be hazardous to swimmers, boats, and coastal structures for several hours after the initial wave.

Those who are looking for information about relatives who may have been affected by the quake and tsunami in Japan can call the U.S. Department of State at 1-888-407-4747 or (202) 647-5225.

“This tragedy overseas reminds us that our region is also at high risk from natural disasters,” said Executive Constantine. “The time to prepare is before emergency strikes.”

The Washington State Emergency Management Division offers these emergency preparedness tips.

  • Review your disaster plan and preparedness procedures with your household.
  • Check on neighbors, especially the elderly, and review your disaster plan with them.
  • Listen to local media and monitor the Internet in an emergency, and be ready to follow instructions.
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