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How California's tsunami-prone cities plan for the next big wave

Earthquake In Japan Prompts Tsunami Warning For California Coast

Kimberly White/Getty Images

People watch from a road above a beach as tsunami surges hit on March 11, 2011 in Half Moon Bay, California. A tsunami warning for Northern California has been issued and a voluntary evacuation is in effect in Half Moon Bay.

Three years ago today, a powerful earthquake and tsunami slammed into northeast Japan and laid waste to coastal towns in its path.

The tsunami's wide reach stretched all the way to northern California, and in Crescent City, one person was killed and the harbor was badly damaged. 

Residents of the town weren't surprised by the tsunami. The town has been hit by 34 tsunamis in the last 80 years, so residents there have gotten used to them. 

This month, Crescent City's harbor is reopening, and the city is commemorating the 50th anniversary of the tsunami that nearly destroyed the town. 

Cindy Henderson is the Del Norte county emergency services manager. It's her job to prepare the community for the next big wave.


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