July 22nd, 2011

Northern California fishing town struggling to stay afloat in wake of tsunami

It’s been four months since tsunami waves generated by a magnitude 9.0 earthquake off the coast of Japan ravaged the harbor in Northern California’s Crescent City, destroying pilings and sinking 16 boats after ripping them from their docks.

But the diminutive harbor is still a long way from functional, crippling to a local economy dependent on the fishing industry. Tsunami victims, meanwhile, are finding little help in disaster relief, much of it in the form of reimbursements and loans they can’t afford.

Excluding the inmates who reside in Pelican Bay State Prison, Crescent City is home to about 4,200 people. The town already took a significant hit when most of the lumber mills and fish processing facilities were shuttered in the last decade, forcing hundreds to leave in search of jobs. Once home to eight lumber mills and three fish processing plants, Crescent City is down to just one of each. Read more.

Photo, via NOAA’s National Ocean Service on Flickr, shows the aftermath of the March 11 tsunami in the inner boat basin in Crescent City.

July 5th, 2011

As KQED reported today, a computer animation made by the International Pacific Research Center predicts that debris from the Japan tsunami will connect with the California coastline in late 2013, early 2014.

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California Watch, the largest investigative journalism team operating in the state, was launched in 2009 by the nonprofit, nonpartisan Center for Investigative Reporting. Areas of coverage include education, health and welfare, public safety, the environment and the influence of money on the political and regulatory process.

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