On March 27, 1964, Tom Horning was living in Seaside, Oregon. He went to bed knowing an earthquake had struck off the Alaska coast. At magnitude 9.2, it was the largest earthquake to ever hit North America.
Late that night, the resulting tsunami hit Seaside. Horning’s home was inundated, as was his entire neighborhood. As far as anyone knew, it was the Pacific Coast’s first-ever tsunami.
Tom Horning is now a geologist, and he still lives in his boyhood home. He’s a central figure in the new book The Next Tsunami: Living On A Restless Coast by Bonnie Henderson. The book charts seismic activity in the Pacific Ocean, and how our understanding of earthquakes and tsunamis has changed over the last 50 years. It also looks forward to what might happen when a major earthquake hits a fault line off the West Coast of America.
Do you live on the Oregon Coast? Why do you choose to live there, even with the tsunami danger?
- Bonnie Henderson: author of The Next Tsunami: Living on a Restless Coast
- Tom Horning: owner of Horning Geosciences
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OPB | Feb. 22, 2017