It's rare that a volcanic eruption is to blame, Lynett said. Initially, experts were surprised by the size and power of the tsunami across the Pacific Ocean. Experts also warn that the timing of a tsunami could spell disaster. When it comes to natural hazards in Los Angeles, tsunamis are not at the top of the list of hazards.
Tsunamis travel faster in deep water and can reach speeds of more than 500 mph, faster than a jet aircraft. A tsunami is one of the most powerful and destructive natural forces. It is a series of extremely long waves (multiple waves of tens to hundreds of miles between ridges) caused by a large and sudden displacement of the ocean. Tsunamis radiate outward in all directions from the point of origin and can move across entire ocean basins.
When they hit the coast, they can cause dangerous coastal flooding and powerful currents that can last several hours or days. For example, a 1.3-foot tsunami wave was recorded north of Los Angeles in Port San Luis on Thursday afternoon. Los Angeles County residents and business owners, including people with disabilities and others with functional and access needs, can call 211 Los Angeles County for information on emergency preparedness and other referral services. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 42 of the 150 occurred in Los Angeles County.
In their work, researchers discovered that an earthquake in that same location could cause damaging 4-foot waves to reach the port of Los Angeles. The California Geological Survey has released a new interactive map of tsunami hazard areas for Los Angeles County, making it easier for residents to find out if they live within a potential danger zone.