Tag Archives: Earthquake

Residual Wave Action in California

Anthony Canova A handful of California marinas, specifically any marinas north of Los Angeles, had the potential to see small wave action during the first week of April because of the 8.2-earthquake and following tsunami off the coast of Chile on Tuesday, April 1. In the Chilean port city of Iquique, observed tsunami heights reached approximately seven feet. People living along the country’s Pacific Coast were ordered to evacuate, but officials lifted the tsunami warning by early Wednesday, local time.

The first waves to strike California are said to have hit La Jolla around 4 a.m. From there, the residual effects from the South America earthquake were said to have travelled north and became noticeable in the Santa Barbara harbor early on Wednesday, April 2.

An Oxnard correspondent with the National Weather Service reported the activity consisted of “one-foot tide fluctuations,” which did not have the ability to damage boats in the harbor. The meteorologist also reported three-to-four knot fluctuations in water currents as well as swirling water in Ventura Harbor. Unlike the one-foot tide fluctuations, the three-to-four knot fluctuations had the potential to upset boats returning to a dock or harbor, causing sudden jolts that could damage vessels by suddenly slamming boats into the dock. However, there were no alarming reports of surging or damage at the time.

San Luis Obispo County had the potential to see the largest fluctuations in wave height, with waves reaching up to 20 centimeters above the normal wave height for the area. Wave action was predicted to continue for an extended period of time, with the possibility of a full day of “wave action” in some areas. Wave action as residual after effect of a far off earthquake is not uncommon and, therefore, because there was not any unusual damage reported, did not alarm the professionals monitoring the California coast.

For more information about the wave action from the Chilean earthquake on the California coast, please visit http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-wave-chile-earthquake-california-coast-20140402,0,2635028.story#axzz2ytejszVx.

Theoretical Earthquake Could Impact Coast of California

Anthony CanovaA recent article in the Los Angeles Times talked about the impact that would be felt along the coast of California if a 9.1 earthquake in Alaska were to occur. The earthquake would generate a large tsunami that would create massive flooding and would likely force 750,000 to evacuate low lying areas like Long Beach, Orange County, Marina del Rey among other coastal areas.

California has long been prepared for earthquakes, but not until recently has the threat of a tsunami been taken more seriously. Officials have been considering evacuation routes in coastal cities as well as what areas would be impacted the most. Some areas would be very difficult to evacuate because of the narrow roadways like Balboa Island in Newport Beach. During the summer, California’s beaches are also packed with hundreds of thousands of beach goers. If a tsunami were to hit during these months, it would be increasingly difficult to evacuate people from the shoreline.

The impact of a tsunami on the California coastline could reach more than $10 billion as it would effect commercial real estate, homes, beaches and boats. “A toxic stew of ship debris and fuel and pesticide-laden runoff from flooded farms could take years to clean up.”

It is a good thing that California has began taking the necessary steps to prepare for a disaster. Many people have the mentality that it won’t happen here, but in all likely hood it is only a matter of time before it does. Natural disasters happen every hundred years. With no documented history of a tsunami impacting California, it seems like the state is long overdue.