News / USA

US Authorities Assess Tsunami Damage

Waves common for a stormy springtime day crash into the beach in Moclips, Washington, March 11, 2011.  A tsunami caused by an earthquake in Japan reached the west coast of the U.S. early Friday, though its impact was minimal.
Waves common for a stormy springtime day crash into the beach in Moclips, Washington, March 11, 2011. A tsunami caused by an earthquake in Japan reached the west coast of the U.S. early Friday, though its impact was minimal.

Emergency officials in Hawaii and on the US West Coast are assessing damage from the Japanese tsunami, which sent waves racing across the Pacific early Friday. The impact was less severe than many had feared, but several coastal communities experienced damage.

The magnitude 8.9 earthquake triggered a tsunami with waves as high as seven meters, devastating parts of the northeastern coast of Japan.  The waves had diminished by the time they reached Hawaii and later washed up on North American shores.

The US Coast Guard reports that it was searching for a man in Northern California who was washed out to sea while taking photographs. Four other people were rescued.

Lucy Jones of the United States Geological Survey says that up and down the coast, the waters were turbulent even though the waves were not high. "And in all of these places, the currents, not just the depth of the water, are very significant issues. There's a lot of force pushing that water around the Pacific."

Kate Long of the California Emergency Management Agency said docks and boats were damaged at Crescent City in Northern California. "We learned that Crescent City has so far had 2.48 meters of waves above normal tide line, that the harbor is significantly damaged or destroyed."

VOA's Kate Woodsome's Q&A with Bill Dorman of Hawaii Public Radio:

A dock was destroyed and boats slipped out of their moorings, some of them capsizing, at the port of Santa Cruz, California.

Some coastal communities were evacuated in central California and regions northward. Beaches were closed around Los Angeles, but the tsunami's impact was limited, partly because the waves arrived at low tide in the morning.

An advisor to the U.S. Geological Survey told reporters in Washington that the Japanese quake ruptured a section of the earth's crust 240 kilometers by 80 kilometers, and was the largest quake in the region for 1,200 years.

The earthquake occurred along a subduction zone, where two of earth's geological plates meet and one pushes suddenly under the other.  Displaced water in the ocean causes the tsunami.

Thomas Heaton, a seismologist at the California Institute of Technology, expects a similar large quake along a subduction zone in northwestern North America, at some point in the future. He said the Japanese quake will provide important data.

"This is really unexplored territory. So to have an earthquake of this nature that is so well recorded both by scientific instruments and also by the buildings that are in place will have very important information for us about our hazards in Northern California, Oregon, Washington, British Columbia area," said Heaton.

In Los Angeles, an urban search and rescue team made up of firefighters, physicians, engineers and other specialists is preparing to head to Japan to help in the search for survivors.

You May Like

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land In French Port

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching 'Fortress Europe' More

Video Westgate Mall Attack Survivors Confront Painful Memories

On anniversary of terror attack, survivors discuss how they have coped with trauma they experienced that day More

New Hints That Dark Matter Exists

New evidence from International Space Station hints at existence of dark matter and dark energy More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calaisi
X
Lisa Bryant
September 19, 2014 5:04 PM
The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video CERN Accelerator Back in Business

The long upgrade of the Large Hadron Collider is over. The scientific instrument responsible for the discovery of the Higgs boson -- the so-called "God particle" -- is being brought up to speed in time for this month's 60th anniversary of the European Organization for Nuclear Research, known by its French acronym CERN. Physicists hope the accelerator will help them uncover more secrets about the origins of the universe. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctions

A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Belgian Researchers Discover Way to Block Cancer Metastasis

Cancer remains one of the deadliest diseases, despite many new methods to combat it. Modern medicine has treatments to prevent the growth of primary tumor cells. But most cancer deaths are caused by metastasis, the stage when primary tumor cells change and move to other parts of the body. A team of Belgian scientists says it has found a way to prevent that process. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Mogadishu's Flood of Foreign Workers Leaves Somalis Out of Work

Unemployment and conflict has forced many young Somalians out of the country in search of a better life. But a newfound stability in the once-lawless nation has created hope — and jobs — which, some say, are too often being filled by foreigners. Abdulaziz Billow reports from Mogadishu.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid