Huntington Beach residents experienced a rude awakening after an emergency city siren went off this morning. A false tsunami warning had been issued at 4 a.m., sending locals scrambling for answers. It took hours before an explanation was given.

The city routinely tests emergency sirens on the first Friday of every month at noon. But, this isn't the first time a false tsunami warning has been issued in southern California. 

Two years ago, a false emergency broadcast announced that all of the west coast from San Diego to Alaska was in danger. This message came only months after the emergency civil defense warning that shook residents in Hawaii.

In 2014, a National Weather Service message that was meant as a test was accidentally shared on their website and sent out to all the users who had the mobile app.

Naturally, people need answers. During the occurrence that happened this morning, one viewer even called into the local news to find out what was happening. 

At 4:22 a.m., the Huntington Beach Fire Department issued a statement via Twitter, explaining "Many of you may have heard the civil defense sirens sound this evening. There is no current threat to our community and we are working to determine exactly how/why the sirens were activated."

One user responded, "This seems like a grand opportunity to, at the very least, inform the community on what to do if these sirens actually seriously go off, as most of us seemingly didn’t know how to react."

Another said, "I really wish the city had sent us a text on the system. I woke up, woke up my husband, and we were searching the internet frantically for any information about an earthquake or tsunami. Seems like if the sirens are going off, a text should accompany no matter what."

Seven hours after the incident, the city issued a formal statement regarding the morning's emergency siren alarm.

So, is California susceptible to tsunamis? The last major event in the state was in 2011 when a 9.0 magnitude earthquake in Japan sent aftershocks 5,000 miles across the ocean.

We should all stay informed. Government websites have official information on things you should know about tsunamis and measures for preparedness

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