Tsunami damage spreads far and wide

Published online: Mar 14, 2011 News Trade Only Today
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The tsunami that devastated Japan Friday showed effects as far as Hawaii and the U.S. West Coast with reports of wrecked boats and marinas throughout the region.

Officials say a young man taking pictures of the surging waves at the mouth of the Klamath River died in California as a direct result of the tsunami.

In California's Santa Cruz Harbor, the tsunami sank 18 boats and did an estimated $17 million worth of infrastructural damage, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

"It was just a sickening feeling, watching Mother Nature coming through and wreaking havoc," said Larry Evans, who saw his 21-foot fishing boat slam against the dock. "It's a relief to see it out of the water. I know the boat is totaled, but there's a lot of stuff [that may be salvageable] inside the cabin."

Santa Cruz's harbor is expected to remain closed through at least next weekend, said port director Lisa Ekers, as cleanup experts from the Coast Guard and the state Department of Fish and Game take the lead in stabilizing the 1,000-boat facility.

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The cleanup continues at a harbor in Crescent City, Calif., where at least 48 vessels sustained damage and were afloat Sunday. Officials have confirmed 11 sunken vessels in the harbor and another boat grounded at the mouth of the Elk River, 75 miles south of Crescent City.

Debris from the harbor - including buoys, styrofoam chunks of dock, wood pilings and trash from sunken boats - remains scattered around the harbor and the nearby shoreline, including Pebble and South beaches, the Contra Costa Times reported.

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