The tsunami generated by the March 27, 1964 Alaska earthquake was the largest and best-recorded historical tsunami on the southern Washington coast. Tsunami wave heights generally were greatest on the south coast, and smaller on the north coast; additionally, the tsunami was recorded inland in the Straight of Juan de Fuca (Friday Harbor), Puget Sound (Seattle), and the Columbia River (Vancouver). 115 deaths are associated with the event. Observations were made of the tsunami in Grays Harbor County at Westport, Joe Creek, Pacific Beach, Copalis, Grays Harbor City, and Boone Creek.
Damages included debris deposits throughout the region, damage to two bridges on State Highway 109, a house and smaller buildings being lifted off foundations in Pacific Beach (the house was a total loss).
Recorded Height of Tsunami Wave from 1964 Alaska Earthquake
Wreck Creek Grays Harbor County 4.5 Feet
Taholah Grays Harbor County 0.7 Feet
Moclips Grays Harbor County 3.4 Feet
Ocean Shores Grays Harbor County 2.9 Feet
(Information from the Washington State Hazard Mitigation Plan 2004)
March 24-30 is Tsunami Preparedness Week
The entire West Coast of Washington is susceptible to tsunami and there is much evidence of numerous large tsunami events that impacted our coastal counties. Learn the risks you face at home and at work. Learn the plan the school has for your children. Family preparedness will help reduce the impact any significant severe weather and/or disaster event will have upon all members of your family.