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Tidal Waves Then and Now

I try not to post about world events unless I have something unique to say. Indeed there is nothing one can say, words cannot describe the devestation caused by today's tidal wave in Southeast Asia, killing thousands. The earthquake that caused the tsunami is described as the largest (8.9 magnitude) in more than 40 years.

The next largest earthquake, 1964 in Alaska (9.2 magnitude), caused 131 deaths and is a part of my family history. The resulting tidal wave caused death and destruction as far south as California. Hardest hit in California was Crescent City (11 dead). My father worked in Crescent City at the time for the state Department of Highways, surveying US Highway 101. He remembers that it was a series of 4 waves, and it was the last of them that devastated the town.

As we heard of todays quake, my father said that there must have been some kind of warning... even in 1964 they knew hours in advance of the approaching wave. Then we saw the report on SPON that there is no tsunami warning system in southeast Asia. And it was clear that the tens of thousands who died today had no warning at all. Indeed.

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