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Tsunami warning siren near the border only a test, officials say

A sign directs traffic to an evacuation route in the event of a tsunami on the Quileute Indian reservation in La Push.
A sign directs traffic to an evacuation route in the event of a tsunami on the Quileute Indian reservation in La Push. Associated Press

Residents of northwest Whatcom County might hear tsunami warning siren Thursday, but they shouldn’t worry, local emergency officials said.

Testing of a tsunami warning siren by a Native American tribe in Canada was heard Wednesday around Blaine near the U.S.-Canada border, prompting calls to 911 dispatchers, according to a statement Thursday from the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office Division of Emergency Management.

Further testing is planned from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday by the Semiahmoo First Nation in Surrey, B.C.

“Preliminary acoustic coverage was found to have reached to the Peace Arch border crossing to the east and north to Eighth Avenue in Surrey and Finlay Stereet in White Rock and across the Canada-U.S. border into and Blaine and Semiahmoo Bay to the south,” the Semiahmoo tribal government said in a note to John Gargett, deputy director of emergency management for the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office.

Robert Mittendorf: 360-756-2805, @BhamMitty

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