Deadly tsunami hit Oregon 45 years ago

Deadly tsunami hit Oregon 45 years ago
A scene from Seaside, Ore., one of the many coastal communities hit by the tsunami.

This is a press release courtesy the State of Oregon

Forty-five years ago today, a massive magnitude 9.2 subduction zone earthquake struck Alaska, unleashing a deadly tsunami that would ultimately claim 5 lives in Oregon and cause damage to coastal Pacific Northwest communities from northern California to British Columbia.

The Good Friday quake claimed 128 lives, most of those from the tsunami generated as the earthquake ruptured the ocean floor off the Alaskan coast. The tsunami, traveling at 500 miles an hour, reached the Oregon coast about 4 hours later where it destroyed cars and homes in Seaside, wrecked wharves, houses and the Elk Creek Bridge in Cannon Beach, tore out docks and smashed boats in Gold Beach and swept 4 children out to sea at Beverly Beach near Newport.

Because of the continuing threat from local and distant tsunamis, coastal communities in Oregon prepare, train, practice and drill year round in anticipation of another tsunami. Plus, every year Governor Kulongoski proclaims April as Earthquake and Tsunami Awareness Month and encourages all Oregonians, as in years past, to "review their family emergency plans and update their emergency kits."

As part of Earthquake and Tsunami Awareness Month, Oregon Emergency Management (OEM), the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries (DOGAMI), the NOAA National Weather Service and the Federal Emergency Management Agency will be conducting tsunami preparedness workshops in seven south coast communities beginning April 4th in Brookings.

The Tsunami Roadshow workshops will feature experts on emergency preparedness, the science of tsunamis and how to make your community Tsunami Ready. Workshop participants will learn how the tsunami warning system works, the critical difference between a local and distant tsunami and the latest tsunami research being done at the coast.

Learn more about Tsunami Roadshow workshops on the DOGAMI Web site. Look for the Tsunami Roadshow workshops in these communities:

April 4       
Brookings Emergency Preparedness Fair  
11 a.m. to 4 p.m.     
Kalamiopsis Elementary School   
650 Easy Street, Brookings 

April 5       
Gold Beach Tsunami Prep Workshop   
1 p.m. to 4 p.m.     
Curry County Fairgrounds    
29392 Ellensburg (Hwy 101), Gold Beach     
April 6
Port Orford Tsunami Prep Workshop
7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Gable Council Chambers, City Hall
555 W. 20th St., Port Orford

April 7
Bandon Tsunami Prep Workshop
7 p.m. to 9  p.m.
"The Barn" Conference and Community Center 1200 11th St. SW, Bandon

April 8       
Coos Bay Tsunami Prep Workshop   
7:00 PM to 9:00 PM     
Eden Hall, Southwest Oregon Community College   
1988 Newmark Ave., Coos Bay

April 10
Florence Tsunami Prep Workshop
7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Florence Events Center
715 Quince St., Florence

Share your memories of the Good Friday Quake and tsunami