Friday, December 31, 2004

Tsunami Fever, Catch It

Especially if you live on the Pacific coast in Northern California, Oregon, Washington, British Columbia, or Alaska. It seems the Pacific Northwest is better prepared for a tidal wave that hits once every 300 to 500 years:

At 9 p.m. Jan. 26, 1700, a magnitude 9.0 earthquake and accompanying tsunami hit the coast of Oregon. The size of the event and the kind of damage it caused, both near and far, were similar to that caused by Sunday's earthquake off Indonesia's Sumatra coast.

...Knowledge about the 1700 earthquake and tsunami has grown since its existence first was proposed in the early 1980s. ....

Perhaps most insightful are traditional Native American oral records. For example: "They had practically no way or time to try to save themselves. ... It was at nighttime that the land shook. ... I think a big wave smashed into the beach. The Pachena Bay people were lost, ... but they who lived at `House-Up-Against-Hill' the wave did not reach because they were on high ground. ... Because of that, they came out alive. They did not drift out to sea with the others."

The quotations are from ``The Tsunami at Anaqtl'a or `Pachena Bay,' '' related in 1964 by Louis Clamhouse and cited by Ian Hutchinson and Alan McMillan (1997).


...than to count ballots in a gubernatorial election that is a somewhat more regular occurrence:

As has been the case since Election Day, much of the attention is focused on King County. Republicans are asking questions about why the county's list of registered voters who cast valid ballots in the election shows about 3,500 fewer people than the total number of votes certified in the race.

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