Huntington Beach

4 a.m. emergency sirens a false alarm

TSUNAMIS can devastate coastal areas, but Huntington Beach was in no danger Friday morning when an emergency siren system was activated by mistake (Shutterstock).

Imagine being awakened at 4 a.m. with the fear that a tsunami – a giant wave of ocean water, typically caused by undersea earthquakes – was headed your way.

The tsunami didn’t happen, but a pre-dawn alert did. According to Officer Angela Bennett of the Huntington Beach Police Department, the city’s emergency siren system was activated with sonic warnings issued from the city’s fire stations.

The alarm was “inadvertently activated” and an investigation is underway to determine what the malfunction was.

The siren warning system is “not specific to any one emergency,” according to Bennett, but a Twitter advisory referred to a “tsunami warning” being false.

In the case of a real emergency, messages would also be sent to the public through the AlertOC system and social media outlets, she added. To register your phones for the AlertOC notification system, go to

Sirens are scheduled to be tested on the first Friday of each month at noon. Today’s test was cancelled and the siren system has been temporarily taken off line.

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