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This day in California history: Tsunami

I was surprised to read that Crescent City’s last big tsunami also happened in March (emphasis mine):

In the early evening hours of March 27, 1964, the “Great Alaska Earthquake” unleashed its mighty power. The 8.5 magnitude earthquake generated several tsunamis (seismic sea waves) that destroyed not only the Alaskan towns of Seward and Valdez but also traveled some 1,400 miles to strike Crescent City, in Del Norte County, California.

Shortly after midnight, some six hours after the earthquake hit, a series of waves struck Crescent City—*one measuring at least 20 feet high*. Even with adequate warning of the impending disaster, ten people lost their lives. The tsunami caused an estimated $7.4 million in damages, devasted twenty-nine city blocks, and destroyed 289 businesses and homes.

$7.4 million in 1964 dollars is equivalent to almost $52 million today. The damages from the 2011 tsunami amounted to $12.5 million in Crescent City and are expected to top $50 million in California overall.

That’s a lot of damage. A lot of scary damage, too.

Info via Learn California

Video of the damage in Crescent City: