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California’s tsunami vulnerability may be greater than once believed

Source(s):  Washington Post, the

By Diana Leonard


Scientists in California are striving to better understand the range of possible tsunami threats posed by earthquakes, and are reaching deeper into the geologic record to estimate how coastal communities in the United States might flood if another “great” earthquake materializes.


California, for example, is updating its tsunami hazard maps, which were originally drawn in 2009, by modeling a suite of realistic tsunami scenarios from both nearby and faraway sources. Simulated sources include local offshore faults, landslides and distant earthquakes in Alaska, Chile and Japan.


Waves traveling across the Pacific take several hours to arrive, but if a tsunami is generated close to shore, there will be little time to muster an official warning. The public should therefore know to move to high ground or inland if there is long or strong shaking at the coast.


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  • Publication date 25 Mar 2021

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