Small Tsunami Causes Damage in California

A small tsunami generated by yesterday's 8.3 earthquake near the Kuril Islands generated no damage in Japan or Hawaii.
Thousands of people living along northern Japan’s Pacific coast fled to higher ground Wednesday after a powerful undersea earthquake prompted tsunami warnings as far away as Alaska. Waves generated by the quake hit Hawaii hours later without causing problems, officials said.

The 8.1-magnitude quake struck an area claimed by both Russia and Japan, but the waves near Japan did not swell higher than 23 inches. There were no immediate reports of casualties or damage.

Six hours later, tsunami waves up to nearly 4-feet high caused by the quake crashed into Hawaii’s shores, civil defense officials said.
However, the tsunami was larger in Crescent City Harbor, California (near the Oregon border) where two docks were destroyed.
In Crescent City -- about 20 miles south of Oregon's state line -- harbor workers noticed a fast-moving current around mid-afternoon that harbor master Richard Young described as a "river within the ocean."

As the surge rushed out of the harbor, workers noticed that two floating docks in the inner basin were destroyed, Young said. Another surge followed, severely damaging a third dock, he said. The harbor can accommodate up to 200 boats up to 75 feet long.

No injuries were reported, and the surge did not sink any boats. But several vessels attached to the destroyed docks bobbed away from their anchorage and likely received dings and possibly greater damages, the harbor master said.

Young said the replacement costs of the docks could range from $300,000 to $700,000.
Another article said six foots waves caused "extensive damage" to the Crescent City Harbor.

Posted on November 16, 2006

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