Coastal communities around Washington State, including Birch Bay, tested their tsunami sirens at Thursday as was part of the Great Washington ShakeOut earthquake drill.
Known officially as an All Hazard Alert Broadcast – or AHAB – the sirens are set up to warn residents of a variety of emergencies. They played a wailing sound, rather than the Westminster Chimes typically used during monthly tests. Voice instruction in English and Spanish also played.
The Sandy Point community opted out of the test.
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National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration radios set to receive the required monthly test of the sirens also were activated during the exercise.
Several agencies, including Whatcom County Community Emergency Response teams, went to several location between Bellingham and Semiahmoo to simulate damage assessment and reporting during the drill.