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New tsunami hazard map shows LA, Long Beach ports particularly vulnerable

The California Geological Survey released a new interactive Tsunami Hazard Area map for Los Angeles County on Monday, March 22. To use the map, folks just need to enter an address to see the potential tsunami danger; they can also see which areas are outside of the hazard zones to plan escape routes.

“After 10 years of research following the Tohoku-Oki earthquake and tsunami in Japan, we’re releasing maps with many improvements to keep Californians safe,” Steve Bohlen, the acting state geologist of California and head of CGS, said in a statement.

Area of potential tsunami hazard is around the twin port complex

The largest area of potential tsunami hazard is around the twin port complex, including the entire Long Beach shoreline and parts of Wilmington and San Pedro. But most of the coastline throughout the county would also be vulnerable, particularly for beach areas along Pacific Coast Highway. Larger hazard zones in western LA County include Hermosa Beach, Malibu, Marina Del Rey, Redondo Beach and Venice

A large tsunami could flood sizeable areas of Marina Del Rey and Long Beach to an elevation of 15 feet,” Rick Wilson, head of the CGS Tsunami Program, said in a statement. “Flood levels for the Port of Los Angeles and the Port of Long Beach could reach elevations of 12 to 15 feet, which would inundate almost all of the land in the ports and some of the surrounding communities.

Loss to the country would be over $1billion of both ports shut for a day

“Local officials have indicated that if both ports were shut down for one day,” he added, “the economic loss to the county would be over $1 billion.”

“The bottom line is,” Wilson said, “if you’re near the coast and feel strong shaking from a local earthquake or get an official notification to evacuate, move inland as soon as possible.”
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