Huge Alaska quake could unleash strong California tsunami, study says

Seismic experts have long warned that massive quake in Alaska could cause damaging waves along CA coast

Monday's 7.9 magnitude earthquake turned out to be too deep to cause a tsunami on the West Coast of the United States.

But seismic experts have long warned that a massive quake in Alaska could cause damaging wave activity along the California coast.

The U.S. Geological Survey released a study last year detailing such a scenario.

The study was modeled on a 9.1 magnitude quake in Alaska, bigger and shallower than the one Monday. The report said such a quake could cause a tsunami that would damage California harbors and cause mass evacuations.

"In California marinas, one third of the boats could be damaged or sunk and two thirds of the docks damaged or destroyed, resulting in at least $700 million of loss," the report said.

The report included a video showing how a tsunami formed by a big Alaska quake would hit the California coast.

On the positive side, the report said, "Three-quarters of California's coastline is cliffs and thus protected from many of the impacts of tsunamis. Neither of California's nuclear power plants are damaged in this scenario."

Read the full report here.

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