News in brief: Santa Cruz tsunami


The north side of the Santa Cruz harbor submerged in three feet of water on Saturday 15

As a massive rush of tsunami waves met with the high tide on Saturday the 15th, the Santa Cruz harbor was filled with seawater. Cars near the end of the harbor’s parking lot were submerged in three feet of ocean water, causing damage to pilings and buildings. In 2011, the last tsunami cost $20 million to fix, but this time the cost will be far lower.

“We had planned on opening at 10, like usual, but when I was about to leave for work, I got a call from my manager warning me about the apparent tsunami,” said Amy, an employee at Aldo’s restaurant in the Santa Cruz harbor, “I wasn’t too worried about it because we get warnings like this all the time and nothing ever happens. But when I drove down the hill I saw all the water that was covering cars.”

I wasn’t too worried about it because we get warnings like this all the time and nothing ever happens

— Amy L

Amy shared that she was nervous because she had a boat in the harbor and was worried about the damage. She said she had to pay $10,000 in repairs on her boat in the last tsunami, so she wanted to investigate the accident, but she could not make it to the dock due to the amount of water. She was interviewed the day after the incident when the tide had receded and she was back at work. Amy said it was definitely weird how fast the water had come in and out and hoped she could dock her boat somewhere else that is not so prone to this kind of natural disaster.

Many boat owners were without power for the past three days. On Saturday, six electrical generators were submerged in the seawater. This led to food going bad, people being unable to keep warm, and was especially detrimental to the Santa Cruz homeless population.

The city of Santa Cruz put out a page on their website about how to prepare and what to do during a tsunami due to the frequency of these events. People are also starting to think about getting tsunami insurance to protect their property.