Tsunami Study Has Bad News for SoCal
Low-lying areas face disaster; 750K would have to evacuate
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Sep 5, 2013 8:42 AM CDT
An earthquake off Alaska could pose a major threat to southern California, a USGS study finds.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – The US Geological Survey has simulated the effects of a 9.1-magnitude earthquake off Alaska—and for southern California, the results could be disastrous. Some 750,000 would need to evacuate coastal areas within a matter of hours as floods spread in Long Beach and Orange County, the Los Angeles Times reports. The region is peppered with low-lying communities that have little built-in protection from the ocean, including Marina Del Rey and areas stretching from the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach to Newport Beach.

The tsunami could cause damage to the tune of $8 billion; the waves would move along the coast down to San Diego and possibly move inland via rivers. Northern California would actually see larger waves, reaching as high as 23 feet. But the north has a less-developed coastline and more cliffs to protect it. "The idea (of the study) is to say: Look, these are not distant events, these could actually happen here," says a scientist. Experts say such a disaster could occur about once in several centuries. "Your life depends on how you respond," says the head of the study.

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Sep 6, 2013 11:00 PM CDT
This means Marina Del Ray needs a contingency plan for resurfacing their main street after Tsunami passes As it stands now they only resurface when the black top turns grey, wouldn't want to drive your Beemer on a faded street now would you? As for Long Beach, best go aboard the Queen Mary and just ride it out-
Sep 5, 2013 4:32 PM CDT
So long Kalifornia, we knew you well. A few years ago, my brother bought some property in Arizona. Now it will be really valuable as beach front property. I guess he'll be able to retire soon.
Sep 5, 2013 3:02 PM CDT
Note to self, no more California trips. I'll stick with Vegas, babyee. Then again, as I revisit this situation, where would all them go if the wave its? Up I-15 right into Vegas. Have you ever been on I-15 at 6:00 PM on a Friday? Tens of thousands of Californians headed to the tables. Poor rental car had to keep up with the 80mph traffic. Turned in the darn thing with three dash lights on. Sorry Hertz, I drove that POS into the ground on that trip.