Friday morning, as I was finishing up my morning animal chores and getting ready to sit down with the newspaper, my husband piped up, "Did you see this about the 8.9 in Japan?"
No, I did not. But hearing "8.9" I went to the USGS website, then immediately over to NOAA to look for the tsunami alert. Because, if you're noided out by earthquakes like I am, you'd know that a Richter reading that high means it was likely a thrust fault that ruptured, and those are the ones likely to produce tsunamis. And this time we got a tsunami warning which, unlike an advisory where they would like you to stay away from the coast and low-lying areas, means, A tsunami is coming and we expect damage.
So I put the collars back on the cats, pulled the earthquake kit out from under the bed, discussed The Plan with my husband just in case, emailed my nephews in Hawaii, then went off to work...What a creepy day! Waiting for the water to come. Random businesses closed, the city's earthmoving equipment and the garbage trucks all parked up on the hill, the roads going into the Arcata Bottoms closed off...even city schools in Eureka closed for the day. A tsunami day at school: who knew?
Humboldt County was fortunate, and we had no damage, though we do have an exciting array of YouTube videos. Harbors Brookings, Ore., and Crescent City, Calif., to the north were damaged, and harbors to the south, I hear, (Ft. Bragg, Santa Cruz) were damaged as well.
Such a watery county we live in, with our Six Rivers, our endless rain, our tsunamis...here're the videos:
Tsunami surge traveling up the Mad River which separates Arcata from McKinleyville:
A cop I talked to said the water reach Hwy 101 at Clam Beach, which is normally a pretty wide stretch, so here's this:
And a time-lapse video of the surge in the Crescent City harbor—play this one with the sound off: