Newport Bay Front Tsunami Display
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Volcanoguy
N 44° 37.829 W 124° 03.132
10T E 416539 N 4942441
Tsunami information display in the Newport Bay Front area.
Waymark Code: WMR77R
Location: Oregon, United States
Date Posted: 05/21/2016
Published By:Groundspeak Premium Member TheBeanTeam
Views: 3

This tsunami display consists of a segment of a Japanese dock which washed ashore at Agate Beach over a year later following the March 2011 Earthquake and Tsunami. The display includes seven information panels, which include geologic and historic information in addition to evacuation information.

Marker Name: Tsunami Information Display

Marker Text: This is a small corner of one of four docks that were torn from their moorings in the Japanese port of Misawa during the March 2011 Tsunami, which followed a 9.0 earthquake. The full dock measured 19 ft x 68 ft x 7 ft high, and weighed 165 tons. It spent fifteen months floating about 5,500 miles across the Pacific Ocean before landing on Agate Beach, here in Newport, in June 2012. It was covered in over 100 invasive species which had to be removed so they could not destroy or damage our own natural environment here in Yaquina Bay. Then the dock was cut into manageable pieces and removed, but one end section was returned. This corner was cut off it, to be used to increase tsunami awareness and to provide information on what to do when a similar earthquake and tsunami happens here, as it will at some point. Another corner is being used by Hatfield Marine Science Center to mark the start of their evacuation route.

The earthquake that occurred off the coast of Japan in March 2011 created a series of major tsunami waves. The port of Misawa was one of the communities affected, though not as badly as some of the towns and cities further south. Over 16,000 people were killed by the earthquake and tsunami overall. In Misawa, 96 homes were destroyed but only two people died. That area of Japan had experienced similar earthquakes and tsunami in 1896 and 1933, and most people knew that they had to take to high ground when a large earthquake took place. Elsewhere, the devastation was extensive. Thousands of buildings were destroyed, bridges were brought down, rail tracks torn up, and nuclear reactors damaged.

The last major Cascadia earthquake and tsunami along the Oregon coast occurred on January 26, 1700. This was more than a century before the main influx of white settlers, and there are no local written records of the event. However, Japanese records show that there was a tsunami without a local earthquake, and in the 1980s, US geologists correlated this with deposits in ocean gullies that were consistent with a Cascadia tsunami at that time.
There is an excellent book, “The Orphan Tsunami of 1700”, that tells the story. In the port of Kuwagasaki, almost next door to Miyako City, the events were recorded by a local scribe. He says that the tsunami arrived at night and the villagers fled to high land. Of 281 houses, 13 were destroyed directly by the tsunami and another 20 by a resulting fire. Magistrates in nearby Miyako issued rice to 159 people from Kuwagasaki and provide wood for emergency shelters. There are similar records of the 1700 tsunami for at least five other villages along the Japanese east coast, detailing its impacts.
No doubt Indian villages in low lying areas along the Oregon coast were destroyed by the earthquake and tsunami, but there is no way of knowing the extent of the damage and loss of life. The effects were probably substantial. There have been relatively few archaeological excavations along the Oregon and Washington coasts, particularly since geologist became aware of the 1700 tsunami, but future re-evaluation of stratigraphic profiles from past excavations might yet yield interesting information. For example, the mud slide that completely buried the Makah Indian village of Ozette, just south of Cape Flattery, WA was almost certainly caused by the 1700 earthquake.

Historic Topic: Geological

Group Responsible for placement: State of Oregon

Marker Type: City

Region: Coast

County: Lincoln

State of Oregon Historical Marker "Beaver Board": Not listed

Web link to additional information: Not listed

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Volcanoguy visited Newport Bay Front Tsunami Display 05/12/2016 Volcanoguy visited it