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California Tsunami Scenario Would Be A Swamped Economy

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People look at sunk boats from a tsunami surge in a harbor on March 11, 2011 in Santa Cruz. (Kim White/Getty Images)

People look at sunk boats from a tsunami surge in a harbor on March 11, 2011 in Santa Cruz. (Kim White/Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES (CBS/AP) — If a monster earthquake struck off Alaska’s coast, tsunami waves would rush toward California, swamping the nation’s largest port complex and causing major economic damage.

That’s according to a hypothetical scenario released Wednesday by the U.S. Geological Survey and others to help emergency planners prepare.

Tsunamis are a rare but real threat in California. After the 2011 Japan disaster, tsunami waves surged across Pacific to the Northern California coast, causing major damage in Santa Cruz and Crescent City.

Scientists say a closer offshore quake would create more havoc, flooding the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, forcing coastal communities to evacuate and destroying boats and small craft.

The tsunami scenario is similar to a quake exercise released several years ago designed to prepare for a big one on the San Andreas Fault.

 

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

 

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