CHULA VISTA, Calif. -- Chula Vista, like many other cities in San Diego County, was getting ready to activate its emergency response plan after a tsunami watch was issued for the California coastline early Tuesday following a major earthquake off the coast of Alaska.
"Low areas like you see in Chula Vista, where you see all that marshy area where the Living Coast Discovery Center is, that's very close to sea level. That would be run over easily," geologist Pat Abbott said. "If you're at a low elevation, near the water, then you should have a tsunami in the back of your mind as a possibility."
Although the watch was canceled a few hours after it was issued, the city did not take any chances.
"This is one that we had to actually monitor closely and wait until the state gave us the all clear," said Marlon King, the city's emergency services coordinator. "We're fortunate here in the city of Chula Vista that we're at the end of the bay. A lot of the momentum of the wave would dissipate. We would still get some inundation right around our marina, right off of Bay Boulevard and right at the Living Coast Discovery Center."
King said they would have had eight to 12 hours to notify and evacuate residents.
"Here at the city of Chula Vista, we have our evacuation routes identified and we have locations where we would take or send individuals to as temporary evacuation points," King said.