On the 26th of December, 2004, a massive undersea earthquake measuring 9.2 on the Richter scale resulted in a tsunami with recorded wave heights of 100 feet and resulted in at least one quarter of a million deaths. While an extreme event, the 1964 Alaskan earthquake resulted in substantial damage to coastal communities from Alaska to California with Crescent City, in northern California, particularly hard hit.

The word tsunami comes from the hybrid of two Japanese words, and literally mean “harbor wave” and are typically most severe along coastlines with a shallow and broad continental shelf, and of course located near some of the world’s most intense earthquake zones.

In the United States, the major tsunami zones are the Alaskan coast, Hawaii, and the coast from Canada to Mexico. Despite the shallow continental shelf of the gulf states, earthquakes are rare and so risk is minimal. The east coast of the United States is generally not affected, as there is little seismic activity along the “central Atlantic ridge”.

In the grand scheme of things that keep you up at night, we suggest that you might consider murder hornets as your DM (designated monster), unless you live in the risk zones along the western coastlines.

In Crescent City, California, the coast plain is highly susceptible to damage, as rare as these events may be.

Crescent City, CA Tsunami Risk