While there is certainly no way we can make a comparison between the tsunami damage in California and what happened in Japan, the effects of last Friday’s tsunami were not insignificant to the some harbors in the state.
The earthquake-triggered tsunami that thrashed California’s coast Friday morning, killing one person, caused at least $50 million in damage, experts said Saturday. Lori Dengler, a geology professor and director of the Humboldt Earthquake Education Center at Humboldt State, said the damage estimates were preliminary — and were likely to rise.
“It’s going to go up,” Dengler said. “How far up, I’m not going to predict. This is an expensive event for California.”
Officials at harbors up and down the coastline spent Saturday assessing damage from Friday’s ocean surge. The two ports that were hit hardest were Crescent City and Santa Cruz. The damage in Santa Cruz is estimated at $17 million, according to Port Director Lisa Ekers. She told the Santa Cruz Sentinel that 17 ships were sunk and up to 50 others were damaged.
In Santa Barbara, fierce waves turned the harbor into a tidal pool, sweeping away a barge that was used for the city’s commercial fishing operation and nearly destroying a 200-ton crane barge that became un-moored in the tumult.
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