Tsunami and the Alaskan earthquake

I was 10 years old and we were living just south of San Francisco, in the peaceful coastal town of Pacifica. After a 9.2 Alaskan earthquake hit, it was natural to keep a close eye on the situation. It takes about 5-6 hours for it to reach the bay area. I didn\’t worry. I was a kid and left it to the grownups. They had cars going through the neighborhoods, with bull horns telling everyone to get to higher ground. My mom freaked out. (She always freaked out) my younger sister was crying. Dad was calm and I always preferred my dad\’s calmer leadership. 

We all went up to Sweeney Ridge –  Parents were concerned; oldtimers talked of past tsunamis warnings, while the children saw it as an opportunity to just have fun. Some of us sat in the back of my dad\’s truck and told stories about tidal waves and earthquakes.   It was like this huge tailgate party. As always, the surfers were probably the only ones who did not evacuate. 

Crescent City Ca – About 20 miles south of the Oregon border.

First, there were three smaller waves that pushed into storefronts and businesses causing little damage and a false sense of calm in the people trying to clean up. Then the big wave, cresting at nearly 21 feet, slammed into the Downtown, killing eleven people and devastating 29 city blocks. This was the worst tsunami disaster recorded in the U.S., causing millions of dollars in damage and shaping what Crescent City’s Downtown looks like today. Over 289 buildings and homes were destroyed after being pushed off their foundations or damaged by rising waters, resulting in most of the Downtown being rebuilt. The massive quake unleashed a tsunami that reached heights of 150 feet in the open ocean and spread across the Pacific, striking the coasts of southeast Alaska, British Columbia, and the United States.

The San Francisco Bay wasn\’t exempt – although minor compared to Crescent City – Fishermen\’s wharf knocked around a few docks and boats – same with all harbors down the coast. 
A few years ago – Battery Point Lighthouse in Crescent City. 
Today I live 260 miles east of Crescent city and there isn\’t a time, that I don\’t think about that Tsunami. Every time we\’ve driven through – every time I hear of an Alaskan Earthquake I think of them. 
I also thought about an acquaintance who moved up to Alaska a couple of years ago – She lives on the Kenai Peninsula, south of Anchorage. I\’m sure she felt yesterday\’s earthquake –  haven\’t heard anymore. The quake was close to Kodac. My husband was stationed in Kodiac when in the Coast Guard, so he\’s quite interested. 
I\’ve always been fascinated by the study of earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanos, etc. I guess it was bound to happen, having lived in San Francisco as a child and learning about the 1906 earthquake in kindergarten – earthquake drills were second nature in the classrooms.  Then evacuating an incoming Tsunami when I was 10. Now I live inland – not far from Mt Shasta and Mt Lassen – which are not entirely dormant Volcanos. The last time Mt Lassen erupted was in 1915. Mt Shasta, is overdue. I follow the USGS gas samplings from time to time. They have been doing these since around the late 60\’s – any severe jump in Magna readings could predict another eruption, hopefully not in my lifetime. 

8 thoughts on “Tsunami and the Alaskan earthquake

  1. Anonymous July 29, 2021 / 11:22 pm

    I wasn't aware the U.S. had been hit by a tsunami. It's sobering. Love,Janie


  2. Anonymous July 30, 2021 / 1:22 am

    I heard about the earthquake in Alaska. Tsunami's are scary! So interesting to read your memories of that one. I did laugh at your comments about your Mom and Dad. We didn't have earthquakes and Tsunamis, but we had tornados. My mom was always freaked out and getting us into the basement, yelling at my Dad to come downstairs while he was looking out the door, checking the weather! 🙂 Her fear was natural though because shortly before I was born, a bad tornado went through our town and killed 15 people.


  3. Anonymous July 30, 2021 / 1:37 am

    I found this an interesting reaad


  4. Anonymous July 30, 2021 / 3:08 pm

    I'm glad nothing \”bad\” happened with the recent earthquake. Before the quake, I had just been reading that USGS was saying there are 6 volcanoes in the Ring of Fire that might be fixin' to blow. Maybe this will calm the area and there won't be any eruptions. I know that must be weighing on most Alaskans minds right now.Every area one can live in has some kind of natural disaster to look out for, doesn't it?! I grew up in Florida and ours was Hurricane Season with occasional tornadoes or lightning strikes thrown in for good measure. Keeps us on our toes.Y'all stay safe.Blessings. xx


  5. Anonymous July 30, 2021 / 9:50 pm

    Well you learned something.


  6. Anonymous July 30, 2021 / 9:51 pm

    Frankly I think tornadoes and hurricanes are scarier. Just terrible.


  7. Anonymous July 30, 2021 / 9:51 pm

    Happy you enjoyed it,


  8. Anonymous July 30, 2021 / 9:53 pm

    I hope it wasn't one of ours. Ha I don't think Mt Lassen or Shasta is that imminent. I agree, every area has their calamity. You choose to live there or you move to a place with a calamity you can live with. lol


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