"Evidence of past events and modeling of potential events suggest that tsunamis are significant threats to low-lying communities on the California coast. To reduce potential impacts of future tsunamis, officials need to understand how communities are vulnerable to tsunamis and where targeted outreach, preparedness, and mitigation efforts may be warranted. Although a maximum tsunami-inundation zone based on multiple sources has been developed for the California coast, the populations and businesses in this zone have not been documented in a comprehensive way. To support tsunami preparedness and risk-reduction planning in California, this study documents the variations among coastal communities in the amounts, types, and percentages of developed land, human populations, and businesses in the maximum tsunami-inundation zone. […] Community exposure to tsunamis in California varies considerably--some communities may experience great losses that reflect only a small part of their community and others may experience relatively small losses that devastate them. Among 94 incorporated communities and the remaining unincorporated areas of the 20 coastal counties, the communities of Alameda, Oakland, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Huntington Beach, and San Diego have the highest number of people and businesses in the tsunami-inundation zone. The communities of Belvedere, Alameda, Crescent City, Emeryville, Seal Beach, and Sausalito have the highest percentages of people and businesses in this zone. On the basis of a composite index, the cities of Alameda, Belvedere, Crescent City, Emeryville, Oakland, and Long Beach have the highest combinations of the number and percentage of people and businesses in tsunami-prone areas."
Scientific Investigations Report 2012-5222
United States Geological Survey: http://www.usgs.gov/