California tsunami damage estimated at USD 50 million

Experts have said this estimate is "preliminary" and costs will go up in the coming days.
"It (the cost) is going to go up. This is an expensive event for California," the Los Angeles Times quoted Humboldt Earthquake Education Centre director Lori Dengler as saying.

The two ports in the state that were hit hardest were Crescent City and Santa Cruz.

At the Santa Cruz port, damage is estimated at USD 17 million, the report said, adding that 17 ships were sunk and up to 50 others were damaged.

In Santa Barbara, waves turned the harbour into a tidal pool, "sweeping away a barge that was used for the city's commercial fishing operation and nearly destroying a 200-tonne crane barge that became unmoored in the tumult," the report said.

"The whole harbour entrance was kind of chaotic for about five hours," said Santa Barbara Patrol Officer Ryan Kelly.

He said several boats were damaged when they collided with barges or other vessels.
In other places, a city sailing dock broke off and a boat was lost at sea.

The National Weather Service had cancelled its tsunami warning yesterday but warned that strong currents remain in Crescent City and in Santa Monica Bay.

A 25-year-old man had died in the Del Norte County after being swept into the Pacific Ocean as he and his friend were taking photographs of the incoming tsunami waves.

Friday's massive 8.9 magnitude earthquake and tsunami in Japan left more than 1,000 dead and at least 10,000 missing.

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