Marines to test tsunami warning system

A new installation-wide tsunami warning system designed to alert personnel on all Marine camps and stations, and White Beach Naval Facility, to the threat of an imminent destructive wave is installed and ready to be tested.

Marine Corps Installations Pacific says the system will be tested on August 29th between 12:00-4:00 p.m. The use of this system will significantly improve the safety of personnel who live or work in low-lying coastal areas and improve their ability to safely and expeditiously evacuate those in harm’s way. First responders and camp, station and facility personnel will also be better prepared to respond to a potential tsunami.

Local governments and other U.S. services on Okinawa have been notified of the use and testing of this system. The Marine Corps will make every effort to minimally impact the surrounding community during the testing of this system. On August 29th, personnel on all Marine camps and stations and White Beach Naval Facility, along with Okinawa community members near Marine camps and stations and White Beach Naval Facility, will hear the steady tone that is the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency’s standard siren indicating an emergency.

They will also hear the following statements before or after each test:
“The following is a test of the tsunami warning system, this is only a test.”
This will be in both English and Japanese. Then they will hear the following:
“This concludes the test of the tsunami warning system, test complete, test complete, test complete.” This will also be in both English and Japanese.

Community members will also hear the actual tsunami warning message which is:
The U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency’s standard siren for 30 seconds followed by the following statement: “Okinawa is under a tsunami warning, mandatory evacuation of low-lying areas has been ordered. All personnel should seek safe haven immediately.” This message will be repeated twice in English and Japanese.

Test and Warning messages will be sounded more than once due to the multiple locations involved, however, each time there will be statements both in English and Japanese prior to the test and immediately following the test to assure the community they are not in danger. Additional statements will inform community members when all is clear.

These are merely tests of the system and do not indicate an actual emergency. Testing of this system is necessary to ensure the continued safety and preparedness of all personnel living on Marine camps and stations and the White Beach Naval Facility.