DEFINITION: A tsunami is a series of high energy waves that radiate outward like pond ripples from an area where a generating event occurs arriving at shorelines over an extended period. Tsunamis can be induced by earthquakes, landslides, and submarine volcanic explosions. Tsunamis are typically classified as local or distant, depending on the location of their source in comparison to where waves occur.
HISTORY AND SCOPE: There have been 39 tsunami events recorded in Del Norte County between 1938 and 2018. Most of these were small and detected only by tide gauges. Impacts were reported for four events that included a combined 12 deaths, 38 injuries, and more than $37 million in damage. Almost half of all known fatalities from tsunami events on the U.S. west coast have occurred in Del Norte County.
Click on the red button to get to know your zone. Look on the maps to find where you live, work, go to school, and play. Are you in the zone or out? If you spend time in any of the yellow areas make sure you familiarize yourself with the fastest walking route into the white "safe zone" area. (Following an earthquake, you might not be able to drive because roads may be destroyed or clogged).
Click on the red button to be informed of distant source tsunamis. When large earthquakes happen far away - such as in Alaska, Japan, or Chile, you may learn that a distant source tsunami is coming hours ahead of arrival. REMEMBER! If you feel a strong and/or long earthquake that's your natural alert that a local source tsunami may be imminent! It is important that you quickly move to a safe zone. Not sure if an earthquake was big enough? When in doubt - drill it out.