Significant Earthquake and Tsunami Events (2 Viewers)

TH2002

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My apologies if there is already such a thread on this website; I looked and could not find one.

Anyways, here's a thread to discuss earthquake and tsunami events. Post videos, damage photos, survivor accounts, anything pertaining to these events.

I'll get things started by posting some videos from two events which need no introduction.

(If you don't want to see people being swept up and killed by tsunamis you probably won't want to watch these...)

 

TH2002

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Damage photos from the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake

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Multi-story wood framed homes and apartment buildings collapsed on to their first stories, or their garage supports in some cases.

90

One person died in the car visible to the right of the CHP officer. The earthquake caused a 50 foot section of the Bay Bridge to collapse and the driver likely did not see the collapsed section of the bridge until it was too late.

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By far the biggest disaster during the earthquake occurred when most of the Cypress Street Viaduct collapsed. The concrete columns were reinforced with rebar, but not ductile, causing them to buckle under the stress of the shaking. Some soil liquefaction occurred as well which likely contributed to the collapse in some sections. Cars on the upper deck were tossed around, with some ending up sideways, and 42 people were killed on the lower deck.

iu

The crushed remains of Buck Helm's car where he survived for four days before finally being rescued. Sadly, he died 29 days after the earthquake.
 

TH2002

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Here's a brief overview of the 1964 Alaska earthquake:
This exceptionally powerful and historic earthquake registered as a 9.2 on the moment magnitude scale, with a maximum Mercalli intensity of XI (Extreme).

Much damage occurred in Alaska's capital, Anchorage, mostly from landslides. Two pictures are facing Fourth Avenue and Government Hill Elementary School, both destroyed by the earthquake's landslides.
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iu


Other inadequately earthquake engineered buildings in Anchorage, such as this JCPenney building, sustained major damage or collapse from the violent shaking.
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The earthquake was powerful enough to bend railroad tracks in several places. 567 wooden railroad bridges were heavily damaged or destroyed across the state. 34 steel railroad bridges also required major repairs, though none were a total loss. Fortunately, all of the trains running on Alaska's railroad lines managed to stop safely during the earthquake, undoubtedly saving many lives.
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Some towns fared even worse: the entire town of Portage sank by about six feet, putting it below high tide level and leading to its abandonment.
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The earthquake also spawned a massive tsunami (maximum run up height: 220 feet in Shoup Bay, AK) and landslides caused by the earthquake generated even more. Over 90% of the deaths from this earthquake resulted from the tsunamis it generated. In Alaska, nine people were killed due to structural collapses from the earthquake's shaking/landslides, and 106 people were killed by tsunamis.

iu

The landslide-generated tsunami that hit Whittier was able to drive a plank through a tire.

Four people died from the tsunami in Oregon, and eleven people were killed in Crescent City, CA in what remains the deadliest tsunami to hit the contiguous United States.
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bjdeming

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the deadliest tsunami to hit the contiguous United States.

...yet.

In Oregon (and elsewhere, of course), some are learning from these tragedies and 'transmuting fear into preparedness,' as someone says in this 2017 Public Broadcasting video:


But it's a long haul, and so costly.

That video is Portland-centric, as so much media is. Yet that city, while not representative of the state as a whole, is our major outlet to the outside world, so that's natural for such a topic.

But the rest of Oregon is in for it, too. For example, here in the Valley (where "up" means north, not south as in the Shenandoah Valley), the Resilience Plan (PDF) they mention in the video notes that parts of the region where I live, where the water table is high even though we're 70 miles from the coast, are at high risk for liquefaction. You do see cross-bracing here and other signs of earthquake awareness and action, but I don't know that anyone is prepared for Sulawesi-style liquefaction which this layperson suspects is possible, at least in broad parts of some counties, if not on such a wide scale, given the different topography:


That's not a tsunami traveling inland; it is solid ground turning to thin mud as a seismic wave or waves move inland.

Nowadays evacuation towers are a proposed fix for coastal communities despite the unfortunate example of vertical evac failure in that video (in Minami, I think).

The one for Newport -- which is also a new Oregon State marine studies building -- is directly west of us, on the other side of the Coast Range (where highways will be blocked by landslides, as they will be in the Cascades on the other side of the Valley; also, infrastructure damage will have shut down I5 and other north-south arteries).

At the time they were building it, I recall reading locally that OSU geologists, including some who are in that video, opposed it, saying the money should be spent to build it outside the tsunami zone. They lost. This whole controversy seems to be memory-holed -- can't easily find mention of it online.

I just hope the tower concept isn't a loss, too, when natural circumstances test it.

It's easy to be all doom'n'gloom when thinking about disasters -- and the Gulf Coast is vulnerable to tsunamis, too -- so here's a tweet from one of the volcanologists currently studying eruption effects in Tonga after that January 15th blast (S-word alert):


 
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OHWX97

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More images worth sharing from Banda Aceh.
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Steel beams and reinforced concrete stood no chance against the tsunami's force.
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Wave heights along the coast. West-facing coastlines were the most vulnerable and received the worst of the tsunami, experiencing run-up heights exceeding 30 meters in a number of locations.
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bjdeming

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Yes, that was the one that woke everyone in the 21st century up. I remember that one video where a little English-speaking kid in Thailand was yelling "Tsunami!" while adults were standing around befuddled by the receding sea.

It was at horrible cost, but people know to run now when the sea does that.

At a distance, though, you don't have shaking to give warning. Here's an animation of the thing spreading:


Also info from the USGS and what the geological record shows of Banda Aceh tsunamis. It's not a rare event.
 

TH2002

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Photos of the destruction of Severo-Kurilsk, USSR 1952. The earthquake that caused the tsunami caused little direct damage being 130 km offshore and at a depth of 20-30 kilometers, but a series of three tsunamis that arrived 15-45 minutes after the earthquake killed 2,336 people in Severo-Kurilsk alone. There the average wave height reached between 50-60 feet high, a Russian source lists the height of the second most destructive wave as 18 meters (59 feet). It is possible the tsunami killed as many as 15,000 people overall. The villages of Usteny, Levashovo, Rifovy, Kamenisty, Pribrezhny, Galkino, Okeansky, Podgorny, Mayor Van, Shelekhovo, Savushkino, Kozyrevsky, Babushkino and Baikovo were all destroyed along with Severo-Kurilsk. Despite the sheer magnitude of the disaster, it received little to no coverage in the heavily censored Soviet press.
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The tsunami's impacts were not limited to the Kamchatka Peninsula. In Hawaii wave heights reached up to 15 feet, causing $17 million in damage and considerable flooding. Fortunately, the fatalities were limited to a head of six cattle. Four boats were overturned and sunk in Crescent City, California, and coastal flooding resulted in minor damage elsewhere along the coasts of California, Oregon, and Alaska.
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