You see the signs along highways: Tsunami Escape Route. Roads lead to open gates and higher ground.

Scientists and historians in the U.S. and Japan say the data indicates the last significant high water tsunami to hit this part of the coast was very likely in January 1700. The evidence is based on sand layers found up tidal creeks and from documents kept by Japanese historians who recorded a big earthquake-type tsunami in Japan during that month.

What if the tsunami was from a comet burst over the Pacific Ocean? It could have happened. It has happened in Siberia a couple of times, either a comet or a large meteor. If the explosion is only a half-mile above the ground or water, the damage is massive: trees down for miles, water surges that travel far across the ocean.

By wandering around on Long Island in Willapa Bay, it appears that the climax forest of cedar trees there was not affected by a tsunami. Or did I miss the evidence? The 1964 Alaska earthquake did not put any high waves along the Southwest Washington coast or into Willapa Bay, but it triggered five tsunami events in Crescent City, California, with great damage and loss of life.

I am glad we have the escape routes. I’m just not sure what caused the last big one to hit here. I’d be glad to read comments that show strong proof that it was from a subduction earthquake.

AL THOUND

Surfside

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