Earthquake News

The majority of tsunami damage in the United States was experienced in California and Oregon.

CRESCENT CITY, CA — The tsunami warnings moved quicker than the waves, enabling millions of people throughout the Pacific hours to evacuate to higher ground. They are now left to clean up the aftermath of the waves, which have destroyed docks and ruined boats. A catastrophic tsunami triggered by an 8.9-magnitude earthquake in Japan rushed over the Pacific on Friday, breaking into marinas and ports in Hawaii and the West Coast, sending boats crashing into one another, taking others out to sea, and wrecking piers. The destruction, which was most severe in two beach communities near the Oregon-California border, was estimated to be in the millions of dollars. "This is simply devastating. I never expected to see this again, "Ted Scott, a retired mill worker from Crescent, stated.

The warnings, the region's second significant one in a year, and the reaction demonstrated how far the earthquake-prone Pacific Rim has progressed since a catastrophic tsunami caught much of Asia off guard in 2004.

"That was a different age," said Gerard Fryer of the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center. "We issued the warning swiftly. That speed would not have been conceivable in 2004."

The center issued its warning only 10 minutes after Japan was jolted by its largest earthquake in recorded history. The first sirens began to scream throughout Hawaii late Thursday as a tsunami rushed east at 500 mph - as quickly as an airliner.

​Police patrolled the tourist hotspot of Waikiki, warning of an impending tsunami. Hotels relocated tourists from lower to upper floors. Some tourists ended up sleeping in their automobiles.

People on the islands stocked up on bottled water, tinned goods, and toilet paper. Authorities let individuals escaping low-lying regions to enter buildings. Fishermen put their boats out to sea, away from ports and marinas where the waves were expected to be the most powerful.

Residents did the same in February, when a magnitude 8.8 earthquake in Chile triggered tsunami warnings. The waves caused minimal harm back then.
The tsunami waves arrived in Hawaii early Friday, tossing boats in Honolulu. On the Big Island, the water flooded seaside roads and poured into hotels. A home was dragged out to sea by the waves.

For a period, the shorelines of several other Pacific islands were also evacuated. The seas in Guam ripped two US Navy submarines from their moorings, but tug boats towed them back to their port.

The first swells to touch the US mainland were scarcely perceptible in Oregon.

Seaside, a renowned vacation town near the Washington state line, was filled with sirens. Restaurants, gift stores, and other beachside establishments remained closed. Some residents relocated to the adjacent hills, gathering behind a home.

Residents from Washington to California retreated to higher ground as the waves approached, hoping for the all-clear to return.

Albert Wood said he and his wife decided to leave their house late Thursday night after hearing about the Japan earthquake, which was the fifth-largest since 1900.

Wood was anticipating bigger and more violent waves than what he witnessed. Still, he shook his head as the automobiles lining the hills began to drive west, towards the lowlands near the beach.

"If you ask me, they're being a little too brazen," Wood remarked. "It's still very early. They're simply not careful."

Four persons were washed into the water while watching the surf near Brookings, Oregon, just north of the California border. Authorities say two people escaped on their own and the others were rescued.

According to Curry County Sheriff John Bishop, the damage at Brookings Harbor was the worst documented in the state, with half of the facilities damaged and ten vessels sunk.

"The port is in complete disorder," he stated.

"If you ask me, they're being a little too brazen," Wood remarked. "It's still very early. They're simply not careful."

Four persons were washed into the water while watching the surf near Brookings, Oregon, just north of the California border. Authorities say two people escaped on their own and the others were rescued.

According to Curry County Sheriff John Bishop, the damage at Brookings Harbor was the worst documented in the state, with half of the facilities damaged and ten vessels sunk.

"The port is in complete disorder," he stated.

To evacuate the area when the flood returned, someone would cry "Here comes another one!"

Scott, a former mill worker, stood there watching the water rush into the port.

"I stood there watching the docks crumble. It cracked like a graham cracker "he remarked.

The waves had not breached a 20-foot break wall that protected the remainder of the city. There were no significant injuries recorded.

A veteran Coast Guard pilot who flew a six-hour search and rescue operation over the turbulent water said he'd never seen anything like it.

"The muck from the ocean floor could be smelled even from the air. You could see the darkness of the water as it poured because it was all mingling together "Lt. Cmdr. Brent Bergan stated.

Loose fishing boats collided on the central coast of Santa Cruz, and docks broke away from the beach. The water surged out as swiftly as it came in, burying the boats in muck.

Some surfers disobeyed evacuation orders and rode the waves ahead of the tsunami.

"The tides are correct, the surge is nice, the weather is good, and the tsunami is there," off-duty California trooper William Hill said. "We're leaving."

Loose fishing boats crashed on Santa Cruz's central coast, and docks broke away from the shore. The water rushed out almost as quickly as it had come in, burying the boats in mud.

Some surfers refused to evacuate and rode the waves ahead of the tsunami.

"The tides are proper, the surge is lovely, the weather is ideal, and the tsunami is there," said William Hill, an off-duty California trooper. "We're going."

 

Ready to retrofit?

Let’s make your home safer

Get a professional evaluation

Call 206-352-5644

Sound Seismic
7543 15th Avenue NW
Seattle, WA 98117

Contractor's license # SOUNDSL836ND

© 2022 Sound Seismic
Seattle Website Design