Just a drill: Warning sirens, flashing lights at Torrance Beach part of emergency evacuation system test

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A testing sign for a new beach evacuation alert system is displayed Torrance Beach in Torrance, Calif., on Thursday, April 29, 2021. (Brittany Murray/The Orange County Register via AP)

A testing sign for a new beach evacuation alert system is displayed Torrance Beach in Torrance, Calif., on Thursday, April 29, 2021. (Brittany Murray/The Orange County Register via AP)

A full-volume test of a new emergency evacuation system on a Southern California beach was successful, officials said.

Sirens blared, lights flashed and alerts were issued Thursday in English and Spanish at Torrance Beach on the south Los Angeles County coast.

Decibel readings were not immediately available, but the announcements could be clearly heard in the neighboring city of Redondo Beach and 1,000 yards (914 meters) offshore, the county Department of Beaches and Harbors said.

The Beach Emergency Evacuation Lights System is intended for use in a variety of scenarios including tsunamis, earthquakes, severe thunderstorms, shark sightings, unsafe water conditions or other events.

The programmed warning announcements are customized for reach type of emergency, such as: “A tsunami warning has been issued. Please evacuate the beach immediately.”

The county said it is the first such system in the world to incorporate lights to alert people who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Lights and speakers are mounted on permanent structures and some lifeguard towers.

Thursday’s test was the third. A previous full-volume test encountered technical difficulties. More tests will be conducted May 20 and 27, but the county said they will not be loud.

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