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Tsunami Event March 2011

 

 tsunami damage in Crescent CityTsunami Event, March 2011

On March 11, 2011 a massive 9.0 magnitude earthquake hit the Pacific Ocean near Northeastern Japan devastating the region and triggering a massive tsunami there. The quake also triggered a smaller tsunami event along the California coast. Though much lower in intensity, the resulting wave surges caused significant damage to boats and infrastructure in the Santa Cruz and Crescent City harbors. In addition, damaged vessels spilled fuel and other pollutants into the water. In response to this event, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) and the U.S. Coast Guard established a unified command and deployed crews to the impacted areas to conduct damage assessments, mitigate pollution impacts and conduct cleanup operations. The Oiled Wildlife Care Network (OWCN) was activated to monitor for wildlife impacts and care for injured animals.

Crescent City

On March 11, 2011 a tsunami struck the Crescent City area following the 9.0 earthquake in Japan. The residents evacuated as a series of waves and strong tidal currents surged into the Crescent City Boat Harbor. When the evacuation lifted, residents returned to the area to find most of the inner boat basin  destroyed. While many of the fishing vessels had been able to leave the area before the tsunami landed, several others could not. The surges destroyed the majority of the moorings and docks in the inner harbor, tossed debris both onshore and in the harbor basin, sunk 16 vessels, damaged numerous others and grounded one vessel at the mouth of the Elk River. The tsunami also took the life of one local man. Following the lifting of the evacuation order, the US Coast Guard, the CDFW, the Army Corps of Engineers, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and several oil spill response organizations responded to the scene. Several boats and many pilings were removed from the harbor during the pollution mitigation incident. Crews removing sunken vessels took great care to avoid causing further damage to those that were salvageable. Over 1,400 gallons of petroleum product was recovered and more than 1,460 cubic yards of oil debris was removed from the harbor. No wildlife impacts were observed.

Santa Cruz

At approximately 11:00 Friday morning a large series of waves and tidal currents surged into the harbor in Santa Cruz, Calif. sinking 18 boats and damaging more than 100 others vessels. Several docks and piers inside and harbor were also damaged but no injuries or deaths were reported. The damaged boats had a minimal effect on local wildlife because of the small amounts of fuel carried on the pleasure boats, typically less than five gallons. The CDFW mobilized a response team that included approximately 15 Wardens and 10 scientific and technical support staff. CDFW boats and other assets actively assisted the port director and harbor police in moving damaged boats to safety and monitored potential environmental hazards.

 

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 tsunami damage in Crescent CityTsunami Event, March 2011

On March 11, 2011 a massive 9.0 magnitude earthquake hit the Pacific Ocean near Northeastern Japan devastating the region and triggering a massive tsunami there. The quake also triggered a smaller tsunami event along the California coast. Though much lower in intensity, the resulting wave surges caused significant damage to boats and infrastructure in the Santa Cruz and Crescent City harbors. In addition, damaged vessels spilled fuel and other pollutants into the water. In response to this event, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) and the U.S. Coast Guard established a unified command and deployed crews to the impacted areas to conduct damage assessments, mitigate pollution impacts and conduct cleanup operations. The Oiled Wildlife Care Network (OWCN) was activated to monitor for wildlife impacts and care for injured animals.

Crescent City

On March 11, 2011 a tsunami struck the Crescent City area following the 9.0 earthquake in Japan. The residents evacuated as a series of waves and strong tidal currents surged into the Crescent City Boat Harbor. When the evacuation lifted, residents returned to the area to find most of the inner boat basin  destroyed. While many of the fishing vessels had been able to leave the area before the tsunami landed, several others could not. The surges destroyed the majority of the moorings and docks in the inner harbor, tossed debris both onshore and in the harbor basin, sunk 16 vessels, damaged numerous others and grounded one vessel at the mouth of the Elk River. The tsunami also took the life of one local man. Following the lifting of the evacuation order, the US Coast Guard, the CDFW, the Army Corps of Engineers, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and several oil spill response organizations responded to the scene. Several boats and many pilings were removed from the harbor during the pollution mitigation incident. Crews removing sunken vessels took great care to avoid causing further damage to those that were salvageable. Over 1,400 gallons of petroleum product was recovered and more than 1,460 cubic yards of oil debris was removed from the harbor. No wildlife impacts were observed.

Santa Cruz

At approximately 11:00 Friday morning a large series of waves and tidal currents surged into the harbor in Santa Cruz, Calif. sinking 18 boats and damaging more than 100 others vessels. Several docks and piers inside and harbor were also damaged but no injuries or deaths were reported. The damaged boats had a minimal effect on local wildlife because of the small amounts of fuel carried on the pleasure boats, typically less than five gallons. The CDFW mobilized a response team that included approximately 15 Wardens and 10 scientific and technical support staff. CDFW boats and other assets actively assisted the port director and harbor police in moving damaged boats to safety and monitored potential environmental hazards.

 

Follow us on Twitter @CalSpillWatch

 

 

Tsunami Event March 2011 - Details