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Crescent City Tsunami Warning

March 11, 2011 by WorldPost 

Crescent City Tsunami Warning, (AP) – One of the docks at the port of Santa Cruz was destroyed today that the tsunami waves generated by a powerful earthquake struck Japan’s northern California and prompted the evacuation of hundreds of people the coast.

He also reported significant damage in the harbor of Crescent City, near the border with California-Oregon, where 35 boats were crushed.

The damage was less severe in the port of Santa Cruz, but one of the docks – known as the wharf U – was destroyed dramatically.

“The dock, he looked like an explosion,” said Michael Sack, co-owner of Sanctuary Cruises. “The wharf has just collapsed. It buckled and broke.”

Sack said one boat of 30 feet and sank at least four other boats broke loose. “They were just passing back and forth in the port, hit other boats,” Sack, adding the ship’s 48-foot whale watching has not been damaged.

Toby Goddard, a member of the Committee of the port city, said the water as a flood surge rather than a big wave. Sack described similarly.

“It was like a to 15 mile now,” said Sack. “It started slowly and went about five feet.”

There were at least eight to 10 major peaks in the harbor, coming about every 10 minutes.

Some boats broke loose; others are tipped over, breaking their masts in other ships. Throughout the port, it has been around floating debris, tires, coolers, and pieces of wood.

In Capitola, water Surge approached the top of the wall of the sea, but did not breach, according to an official of the city.

The National Weather Service has issued a tsunami warning for much of the California coast following the earthquake of 8.9 magnitudes that struck off the coast of northeastern Japan earlier today.

Shortly after the first waves began to hit the coast of Santa Cruz to eight hours, the boats were seen floating in the harbor. Crescent City Councilman Rich Enea told the Times-Standard 35 boats were crushed and the port has suffered extensive damage. At 10 hours, the coastal community was waiting to hit further.

Early this morning, the weather service issued a tsunami warning to tell people living along the coast to move to higher ground inside. Like hundreds of people were driven from the coast near Half Moon Bay and parked along Highway 92 and Skyline Boulevard in San Mateo County, a fisherman was heading toward the waves.

Duncan Maclean got into his boat, the Barbara Faye, and headed out to sea this morning when he heard a tsunami was coming.

“It’s the safest place to be in a tsunami,” said Maclean. “I have a large investment here, I must protect.”

Some other fishermen out of Pillar Point Harbor followed his example, this morning.

“There’s a big wave that seems to build, but I do not think it comes from a tsunami. I think its coming from a storm, “said MacLean, who was about six miles off the shore of Half Moon Bay from 9:05″ I think it’s not going to hit as severely that they predicted. ”

It was a similar scene on Highway 17 at Summit Road.

The first wave hit the port of Monterey at about 7:50 ET was about 2.4 feet higher than what is normally seen, says Diana Henderson of the weather service. Waves first success in San Francisco at about 8:20 p.m.

Once the first waves arrive, the warning can remain in force for hours. The waves could reach a peak two to three hours after their first arrival.

“This is not only a great wave,” said Diana Henderson, forecaster with the weather service. “This is a series of waves that could be dangerous as long as 10 to 10 hours after the arrival of the initial wave “.

The tsunami warning has not prevented the usual crop of surfers take water off Pleasure Point in Santa Cruz. A crowd of six at sunrise at the place known as The Hook at the base of the st Avenue had risen to 20 in 7 hours

If some have been Playing it Safe – “I’m out by 7:30, can not justify to the wife and kids,” said one – others seemed to be present as a natural event that generally overhyped may or may not even be noticed.

By 7:30 am, just minutes from the scheduled arrival of the tsunami, the water was still littered with surfers and half a dozen others were perched atop the cliff above, decide whether to put on their own combinations and palettes. Although an electronic sign next to O’Neill Surf Shop on 41st Avenue flashed “TSUNAMI WARNING,” more cars were crowded in front of that back – some of them with boards snowboard strapped to the roof.

County of San Mateo, at the intersection of Highway 92 and Skyline Boulevard, about, 000 cars were parked along both roads as residents of Half Moon Bay sought to find higher ground. At 8:30, the road looked like a strip of land for parking of vehicles crammed into the center median, and ventilation areas along the shoulder.

While some people stayed in their cars, there were children playing on a grassy area near the median.

Martin Quijano, 25, of Half Moon Bay, received a telephone call from a friend at about 4:00 and immediately got into his car and headed toward Skyline Boulevard. At first he was afraid, but is now eager to go home.

CHP Officer Art Montiel urges motorists trying to park on Skyline Boulevard.

San Mateo County school districts in Half Moon Bay, Pacifica Pescadero and the area were all closed Friday as officials waited for the tsunami.

Pacifica officials set up shelters at Terra Nova and Oceana high school, but the only people who attended were looking to get a better view of the waves. Oceana High on a hill overlooking the ocean.

“There is no one free, except the people on the run,” Oceana Senior April Holland said. “We had almost no one present.”

In San Francisco International Airport, all flights to Tokyo are canceled, but all flights are operating normally Hawaiian, spokesman Mike McCarron airport said.

In Northern California, the waves could reach up to 5.3 meters, according to the weather service.

The tide began to rise shortly after 7:30 am along the beach in Crescent City, where the tsunami was expected to hit hardest in California. Officials predicted that the waves could reach up to feet.

In Santa Cruz, access to the beach, including apartments Parkway and Town Dock will be closed for the duration of the tsunami warning, police said. The road closures are: Beach Street in the Municipal Wharf, Riverside Avenue Third Street, Laurel Street Extension and Third Street to Pacific Avenue to Centre Street.

Santa Cruz city officials informed of, 600 people in the area of?? The city tsunami flooding to evacuate, according to Deputy Police Chief Steve Clark. The order is an advisory and not mandatory. This includes the beach area apartment along West Cliff Drive, the port area and along the San Lorenzo River.

San Francisco officials have closed the Great Highway, Ocean Beach and beaches of the other city.

While emergency officials remind the public to avoid the coast today, there are plenty of onlookers trying to catch a glimpse of the waves.

As spectators gathered near Pacifica Drive, a couple walking their dog along the dam said they were not frightened by the reports and did not intend to evacuate. They were skeptical of news and weather.

“They also told us he was going to snow a few weeks ago,” said Matt Jetty, 31, of Pacifica.

Mark Johnsson, a geologist from the California Coastal Commission, said fans probably expected wave of film style.

“Hollywood does seem like big, huge waves crashing,” said Johnson. “But it is just a big progressive flooding.”

Johnsson was 8 to 9 am by this time; he said he had seen two waves of the tsunami.

A man jumped over the wall of the sea and the beach.

“I would not walk on that beach right now. Not at all.” Johnsson said.

Staff writer Mark Conley and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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