Saturday, March 12, 2011

Tsunami in Depoe Bay

Our hearts go out to the victims of the tsunami in Japan. Even here on the Oregon coast where most harbors escaped major damage (though others were not so lucky), the force of nature was tremendous.

In the photo above we see the periodic surge sinking a dock in Depoe Bay. This tiny harbor just a few miles north of us, offers this report:
"After the quakes in Japan we had nothing to do but wait for the tsunami that was predicted. After the time predicted had come and gone with nothing happening we left the high ground and went home. The action picked up about two hours later when the water started running out of the bay. It is common for the water to run in an out of our little harbor constantly but this was much different. The run-out continued for several minutes at a time, as long as 6-8 minutes of constant run-out. Then it would surge back in, running faster and faster until it was like a white water river. That river of current would surge straight into the harbor all the way to the Coast Guard boathouse, then it would turn to the south and run against Dock One and the boats moored there. The current was running so hard it would run over the top of the dock and pull it and the boats moored to it down. That happened several times until the dock started to break under the strain. The power created by the surge was incredible, finally breaking a section out of the dock about twenty feet long. At that time three boats moored there partially broke free from their moorings.
After surge abated and start to run out again the skippers were able to get to their boats and move them to parts of the harbor that were less effected. The boats incurred minimal damage but Dock One is another story. The incoming surge would break more pieces off the dock until the harbor was filled with floating debris."

Hours after the waves had subsided, Doryman took his rowing scull down to the harbor in Toledo, where Mistral is moored. This harbor is 13 miles from the ocean, yet even there, the surge was evident. The current ran hard in opposite directions every few minutes, as though the tide had gone mad.

We are made humble.


Brandon Ford said...

Thanks for the report Michael. The power of nature is awesome.

doryman said...

Hard to imagine, even watching the footage of those poor people in Japan.
Being on the water, while the current surged in every direction, it was easy to imagine how myths about sea monsters came to be.

Bursledon Blogger said...

sobering stuff indeed - despite all the reports and films it's still difficult to comprehend the scale of the tragedy in Japan

doryman said...

And it's not over yet.