- Posted on: MAY 3, 2014
USGS image illustrates maximum current speeds in knots for the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach generated during a tsunami scenario.
With the 50th anniversary of the devastating tsunami that killed a dozen people in Crescent City approaching, state and federal agencies have teamed up to create a preparedness playbook for each of California’s nearly 130 harbors.
Striking on March 27, 1964, the magnitude-9.2 Great Alaska Earthquake — also known as the Good Friday Earthquake — resulted in California’s deadliest tsunami, which killed 15 people on the West Coast and caused severe damage to several state harbors.
Rick Wilson of the California Geological Survey’s tsunami program said the state has a long history with the devastating waves.
”Since the 1800s, we’ve had over 100 tsunamis observed in California,” Wilson said. “Although most have been small, there have been 13 large enough to cause damage, especially to harbors.”
In order to prepare harbors for future events, the site-specific playbooks — created by the state geological survey in collaboration with the California Office of Emergency Services, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and several state universities, including Humboldt State University — will provide maps that lay out high-hazard areas under a number of different tsunami scenarios.
For each scenario, a corresponding response strategy will be given — whether it’s warning boats to remain offshore or preventing docks from being lifted off pilings.
Though two recent tsunamis — caused by the 2010 earthquake off the coast of Chile and the 2011 Tohoku earthquake off the coast of Japan — caused millions of dollars worth of damage at Crescent City and other California harbors, the events also created a scientific opportunity.
”Before those two events, we really didn’t have information about tsunamis along our coast,” Wilson said. “… It was priceless.”
p style=”color: #000000;”>By obtaining video and data collected during the tsunamis, Wilson said they were able analyze currents and resulting effects, which “gave us the ability to model bigger scenarios” and “validate numerical models” that can be applied to various locations.
Read the rest of this article and find other worthy stories by visiting cope-preparedness.org
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