California’s worst tsunamis

February 28, 2010

Expected tsunamis, generated by yesterday’s 8.8 magnitude Chilean earthquake, prompted the evacuations of thousands of people. However, while the surge could be seen in some areas, damage was minimal and in California little or no change in wave size was noticed.

Nevertheless, 14 tsunamis have hit the coast of California since 1812. [SFGate]

Of those, the most destructive was a 1964 tsunami triggered by the Great Alaskan Earthquake that slammed the area between Crescent City and Monterey particularly hard. Eleven people lost their lives in the seven to 21 foot wave surges.

The tsunami destroyed half of Crescent City’s waterfront business district.