Monday, December 01, 2008

Tsunami sign terror campaign is statewide

Our probe of the TSUNAMI HAZARD signs that have shown up along the Pacific Coast Highway in Los Angeles has led to investigations by other news sources. The LAist site has found that the California Department of Transportation is responsible for the signs, and is offering cities and towns along the coast a variety of styles and warnings (above).

And Tabloid Baby has just learned that the signs that appeared on the PCH along Pacific Palisades are set to be posted on beaches in Santa Monica and Venice next week.

In fact, the signs are set to appear along the entire California coastline, and have been posted for about a month in northern California, causing Franklin Stover of The Humboldt Beacon to ask whether the signs are the work of anti-development types and if their placement will drive down property values along the coast:

"... Approximately 400 of these signs were installed by Caltrans with a 5 percent loss due to sign stealing...

"The State of California's Seismic Safety Commission states in their Dec. 2005 'Findings and Recommendations On Tsunami Hazards and Risks' that 'over 80 tsunamis have been observed or recorded along the coast of California in the past 150 years, 9 causing minor damage in ports and harbors and 2 with major impacts.' It goes on to remind us of the Cresecent City tsunami of 1964 that resulted in four deaths. Finally, in that same paragraph, the study says, 'local earthquakes can produce damaging tsunamis that will provide very little warning time.'

"This brings me to ask what value the hazard warning signs have if I'm a motorist on 101 and a big tsunami reaches up and devours me and the road with it. In the time alloted (nearly zero) to respond, there's no way to move to high ground unless one is aided by extraterrestials.

"True to human nature, we've known about the risks of living by the coast for 150 years, but homes, highways, a mall, a community college, and a nuclear power plant dot the landscape along an area marked as a hazardous tsunami zone.

"Another thing that the hazard signs accomplish is that they tend to discourage development of those areas. This may be to the delight of progressives who don't want that kind of progress, but it brings up a question of declining property values. Now that these hazard areas have been carefully delineated, could land there be devalued since the risks of living there or running a business are at odds with Mother Nature? Should it be appraised at a lower level, however, economic opportunities within the tsunami hazard zone could be unleashed. Still, one must bear in mind what nature may have in mind.

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