View Full Version : California Quake Triggers Tsunami Warning

06-15-2005, 08:35 AM
California Quake Triggers Tsunami Warning


Wednesday, June 15, 2005; 2:53 AM

SAN FRANCISCO -- A major earthquake struck about 80 miles off the coast of northern California on Tuesday night, briefly prompting a tsunami warning along the Pacific coast. There were no immediate reports of damages or injuries.

The 7.0-magnitude quake struck at about 7:50 p.m. southwest of the coastal community of Crescent City and 300 miles northwest of San Francisco, according to the U.S. Geological Survey Web site.

A tsunami warning was briefly in effect from the California-Mexico border north to Vancouver Island, British Columbia, but was called off about an hour after the quake hit.

"It appears from the mechanism of the earthquake that this was a strike-slip event so the motion was horizontal, not the vertical displacement that typically leads to a tsunami," said Ved Lekic, a seismologist at the University of California Seismographic Station in Berkeley.

Witnesses felt buildings shaking along the California coast.

"It was just a rolling sensation," said Jim Andresen, a fire captain in Humboldt County who is stationed just outside Eureka. "I've felt worse in the past. It didn't seem like it was that bad, lasted probably 15 seconds."

Xiojin Yuan, the owner of the beachfront Hampton Inn and Suites in Crescent City, said police quickly told him to evacuate the guests at the 53-room hotel.

"People evacuated in a really orderly way. The police and firefighters in Crescent City did an excellent job," Yuan said.

He stayed alone at the hotel to make sure no one was left behind. "My car was the only one in the parking lot," he said.

The area hit is where the North American, Pacific Ocean and Juan de Fuca plates converge and has earthquakes of this magnitude about once a decade, said Lucy Jones, the scientist in charge of the U.S. Geological Survey office in Pasadena.

Crescent City was the site of the only known tsunami to cause deaths in the continental United States. Eleven people died and 29 city blocks were washed away there in 1964 by a tsunami spawned by a quake. Four people who were camping on a beach in Newport, Ore., also died in that tsunami.

The latest quake was similar in strength to the 6.9-magnitude Loma Prieta quake of 1989 that killed 40 people and caused about $6 billion dollars in structural damage in the Bay Area.

"But unlike Loma Prieta, this was located off shore so the damages were not heavy," Lekic said.

06-15-2005, 02:08 PM
I heard about this. I didn't feel it down here in So-Cal, but heard the tsunami warning. That was a little scary...I didn't think we were tsunami-prone here.