Crescent City, Santa Cruz Hit Hard By Tsunami Waves

03/11/2011 05:16 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

DEVELOPING -- Governor Brown has just declared a state of emergency for Del Norte, Humboldt, San Mateo and Santa Cruz Counties. His reasons include "conditions of extreme peril to the safety of persons and property," "due to the tsunami and water surge." In doing so, he frees up state employees and resources to be deployed to areas that have been hardest hit by the morning's incoming tsunami waves. Earlier in the day, the governor released an official statement expressing his condolences for the nation of Japan and pledging support for the search and rescue effort. AP reports:

The Democratic governor said in a statement Friday that "our thoughts are with the people of Japan as they endure this tragedy." He directed California's Emergency Management Agency to make state resources available to the Japanese government.

UPDATE -- According to AP, five people were swept off the coast by strong waves, one of who is still missing. The report:

The Coast Guard is searching for a man who was swept out to sea while taking photos of waves with two friends near the mouth of the Klamath River in Del Norte County, Calif. His friends made it back to shore, and helicopters are searching for the missing man.

Sheriff's officials in southern Oregon say one death was reported aboard a commercial vessel in the harbor at Brookings, Ore., but it appears to be from natural causes. Four people were swept off a beach north of Brookings, but were rescued.

The Curry County sheriff's department says two were able to get out of the water on their own, and two were rescued by law enforcement and fire officials.

PREVIOUSLY -- Crescent City was hit today by a series of strong waves in the aftermath of the tsunami that engulfed Japan last night. On the border between California and Oregon, this isn't the first time Crescent City has been affected by tsunami waves. The LA Times reports that the city "was the scene of a devastating tsunami in 1964, which killed 11 people and destroyed 289 homes and businesses."

Tsunami waves also hit the Northern California city of Santa Cruz. At around 10am this morning, KTLA reports that at least 15 small crafts were "ripped from their moorings and damaged during the surge." The Bay Area Rapid Transit system is also taking precautions against the possibility of water entering underground and underwater train stations. NBC LA reports that preliminary damage estimates in Santa Cruz total $2 million.

Video via KTLA.


There was no reported damage in Southern California, and Venice Patch reports that the mood around the Venice pier was one of "thwarted expectation," as almost 100 people had gathered to watch for the waves.