Alaska Quake Tsunami Scenario Swallows North Orange County Coast and Long Beach: USGS

giant-tidal-wave.jpg
A tsunami generated by a massive earthquake off the coast of Alaska would leave the northern Orange County coast and Long Beach underwater, according to a U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) report released Wednesday.

The natural disaster would force the evacuation of about 750,000 coastal Californians and damage or sink one-third of the boats in marinas statewide, the report adds.

Otherwise, it's smoooooth sailing!

The mock quake the USGS is riffing off of would be 9.1 on the Richter Scale that strikes the Alaskan coast around midday on March 27, 2014. Thus, if such a quake hit during the warm summer months, evacuations would swell to more than 1 million because of the increased number of tourists or people with vacation homes on the coast, the report notes.

Lucy Jones, the USGS science adviser for risk reduction and frequent TV news talking head whenever there is a quake in California, says in a City News Service report that the "good news" for California is that three-quarters of the Golden State's coastline is made up of cliffs, so tsunamis damage could be minimal in most places.

The "bad news," she adds, is the low-lying areas such as Long Beach and northern Orange County are made up of some of the most "economically valuable property in California."

Which reminds me: Balboa Island. Isn't that place sinking even without a tsunami? Don't they have to pull a big bathtub plug in the middle of the island whenever it rains? This can't be good news for those folks.

After all, the report's modeling shows waves would reach our shores relatively quickly, reaching as far south as San Diego within about six hours. That would make evacuations difficult with so little warning, especially at hospitals, nursing homes and child day cares.

While the USGS is scaring the beejesus out of one poor sap pounding computer keys, the intention is to educate us to be more prepared, according to Jones.

"In order to effectively protect communities from tsunamis, we must first know what to plan for," she explains in the City News Service piece. "By starting with science, there is a
clearer understanding on how tsunamis function and their potential impacts. This scenario will serve as a long-lasting resource to raise awareness and provide scientifically sound and unbiased information to decision makers in California and abroad."

Anyone got a spare snorkel?

Email: mcoker@ocweekly.com. Twitter: @MatthewTCoker. Follow OC Weekly on Twitter @ocweekly or on Facebook!


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29 comments
feargal1
feargal1

Of course, this is all about a theoretical quake that will probably never happen.

Highway39
Highway39

The nuke plants would be totally unscathed? Really? That is Fukushiming fantastic! Just curious, though- What happens to the Seal Beach Naval Weapons Station in this scenario?

Kim Guerra
Kim Guerra

Cowabunga.... That would be soo scary.... Hope it never happens...

SenorMateo
SenorMateo

why dont you include a link to the study? hasnt anyone taught you how to hyperlink? now i have to search for it on top of leaving this stupid comment. thanks a lot, jerk.

John Grace
John Grace

Its not the wave, its the storm surge that will get us in HB. The good news is our City Council is already looking into it.

Bonniejean Baxter
Bonniejean Baxter

No my worst nightmare, a tidal wave crashes over the Peninsula and slams the island

Jose Magdiel Barrera
Jose Magdiel Barrera

I bet you if that happens , southern California people will be like: dude lets get tha surfboards!! Hell yeaaa!!! It's going to be cool !! I just kidding!!! its was little joke for the terrible reality !

Matthew Smith
Matthew Smith

And if a Volcano erupted in LA it would be like that one movie, and if a Sharknado hit it would be like that one movie, and if an ice sheet broke off the day after tomorrow, it would be like that one movie. RELAX PEOPLE in the end Armageddon will hit, you know with asteroids and stuff, and it will be like that one movie...

thesch
thesch

i am moving to the desert..

James Stutsman
James Stutsman

The last one that generated a tsunami at least cleaned out all of the dead fish in Redondo....lol (^^^)

Felicia Buchanan
Felicia Buchanan

Oh good grief if there was a 9.1 earthquake in Alaska it would practically be the end of the world. Just keep people posted with appropriate Tsunami warnings.

Niko Babic
Niko Babic

HB is a southern facing beach, no? Wouldnt Palos Verdes block us?

Greg Autry
Greg Autry

Ummm, Am I far enough Inland ???

Darren Lyons
Darren Lyons

Better send us a warning when it happens

JGlanton
JGlanton topcommenter

Computer modeling with intent to cause fear, panic, and an influx of cash for more modeling to cause fear, panic, and an influx of cash for modeling to cause....

kbear09090
kbear09090

@Michael McCracken No, it's higher.

MatthewTCoker
MatthewTCoker topcommenter

@Greg Autry Two more steps back, back, PERFECT!

MatthewTCoker
MatthewTCoker topcommenter

@JGlantonThey bought their tickets, they knew what they were getting into, I say let 'em crash!

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