SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) – If a tsunami strikes, do you know where to go for safety?
A wall of water could make landfall within minutes if there's an offshore earthquake. But now there's a new map that's aimed at saving lives.
County officials released the maps for the 10 coastal cities from Oceanside to Chula Vista. They'll be distributed to 33,000 homes and businesses located in low-lying areas.
"In a worst-case scenario, the tsunami would get to be about 10 to 15 feet high in this area, which doesn't seem like much, but if you're standing on the beach, realize that it's about 5 to 6 feet above your head," Rick Wilson of the California Geological Survey said.
Another concern is a busy summer day, when the beaches are filled with people.
"We may only have about 10 to 15 minutes before the tsunami arrives on shore, so it's important that if people feel the ground shake or they see the water recede, they've got to get to high ground immediately. Don't wait for any official authorization to go, just go," Wilson said.
Residents are advised to go inland at least two miles, or get at least 100 feet above sea level, in the event of a tsunami.
"You have to register your mobile phones, or we won't be able to reach you," Holly Crawford of the Office of Emergency Services said. "We get landline telephone numbers, we don't have people's cell phone numbers."