New tsunami hazard maps highlight threat facing seven California counties — even Napa — from killer super-tsunamis. These dangerous forecasts will be updated from time to time. Check back at SFGate.com/hazard for the most recent maps.
It’s time for the next round of projections that could threaten your well-being in the coming year.
A new set of maps issued by the US Geological Survey warns residents of the seven most-at-risk California counties about the threat posed by super-tsunamis, which could be as powerful as the 1906 San Francisco earthquake or the magnitude-9.1 quake that devastated Japan.
The threat is the latest in a series of forecasts that have followed the destructive 2012 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami that killed up to 230,000 people and caused massive damage in Indonesia.
A map of Napa County, pictured above. (Image: USGS)
A new map, posted Monday on the US Geological Survey website, warns residents in the seven counties most at risk of a catastrophic earthquake in the coming year — Napa, Mendocino, Trinity, Solano, Yuba, Glenn and Yolo — that a tsunami could arrive as early as 2021.
It’s a stark warning that seismologists say must be weighed against the damage caused by an earthquake and the threat posed by tsunamis to residents of these counties.
“It is really important given the earthquake risk that we have been warning people about that they understand the potential tsunami threat they face,” said John P. Hough, a USGS geophysicist who co-authored the new forecast. “The danger is there.”
But while scientists have been warning of the danger of tsunamis for years, they have yet to recommend any concrete measures to protect residents in the area from the wave. And that has led some to call on officials at Pacific Gas and Electric and the California Public Utilities Commission to consider issuing evacuation orders in the days or weeks after such a devastating quake or tsunami.
Last week, PG&E announced it was postponing its plan to begin blackouts for some customers in southern California and northern part of the state because of fears about rising water levels that could trigger a giant tsunami.
“There is significant risk and uncertainty. We are working with the PUC and authorities around the country to address those risks,” PG&E spokesman Patrick Swearingen