TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Such Carnage is Hard to Believe!

Re: Such Carnage is Hard to Believe!

John Levine (
31 Dec 2004 01:59:38 -0000

> If such waves hit either the east or west coast of the U.S., how far
> inland would the destruction be? One mile? Ten miles? How much
> shoreline (ie length) would be affected?

> For example, say the wave were to hit Coney Island in Brooklyn NY,
> how much of Brooklyn would've been destroyed?

Here on the east coast we have hurricanes and other storms, and a
storm surge is not altogether unlike a tsunami. Most of the east
coast, from Cape Cod all the way to Miami, has barrier beaches in
front of shallow bays so a storm surge or tsunami would whack the
barrier beach pretty badly, but the energy would dissipate before
reaching the mainland. Most of the construction close to the water is
now storm resistant, typically on pilings with breakaway construction
at ground level, and I'd think that design would resist a tsunami
pretty well. Coney Island is unusual in that it's not a barrier beach
(that's why it is where it is) but I believe they do have seawalls
under the boardwalk, and it faces south while most waves arrive from
the east.

On the west coast, it depends on the topography which varies a lot.
In Santa Monica, for example, there is a high bluff which should limit
tsunami damage to the small amount of stuff below the bluff, while a
couple of miles south in Venice and Marina del Rey it's flat, and a
big wave would whack them. Press reports remind us that tsunamis have
in living memory hit northern California and killed people, so they
should pay attention.



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