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You’ll hear a loud noise at noon on Monday

Listen to a test of the Birch Bay tsunami siren

Coastal communities around Washington State, including Birch Bay, tested their tsunami sirens at 10:19am Thursday, Oct. 19, 2017. The test was part of the Great Washington ShakeOut earthquake drill.
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Coastal communities around Washington State, including Birch Bay, tested their tsunami sirens at 10:19am Thursday, Oct. 19, 2017. The test was part of the Great Washington ShakeOut earthquake drill.

The new tsunami siren installed at the Port of Bellingham will be tested on Monday.

The siren at the Port is the seventh installed as part of Whatcom County’s All Hazards Alert Broadcast Warning System. All sirens in the county are tested on the first Monday of each month.

Residents in Blaine, Birch Bay, Point Roberts, Lummi Nation, Sandy Point and now the Port of Bellingham (and much of the waterfront areas of Bellingham), can expect to hear the testing of the sirens at noon with the ringing of the Westminster Chime tones, followed by a voice announcement, officials said in a news release.

For an actual tsunami warning evacuation alert the siren will sound a wail for 90 seconds, followed by an evacuation announcement, then sound the wail for 90 seconds, repeating the evacuation announcement and continuing this cycle of wail and announcement, along with “tune into your local radio station for further instructions,” according to the news release.

“The Port of Bellingham siren was installed at Squalicum Harbor and provides as near complete coverage as possible for the downtown waterfront area,” said John Gargett, deputy director of the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office’s Division of Emergency Management.

Funding for the siren was provided by the U.S. Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Tsunami Hazard Mitigation Program and the Washington State Military Department, officials said.

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