Observations from the Tacana and Chala Area




The area around Tanaca and Chala was not severely affected by the tsunami. Witnesses reported that shortly after the shaking, the water withdrew out to the end of the point and stayed there for 30 minutes or so, then came in to just above normal hi tide, barely noticeable. The water withdrew a second time and stayed out for 10 minutes or so and came back slowly. Locals say that the beach appears to be slightly wider and that it looks as if the sea level hasbeen lowered since the earthquake but is slowly returning to 'normal'. Some folks went to gather fish that were stranded by the receding waters, but they were warned by the witness (Salvador Salsedo, center photo, in the middle) to come back and get to high ground. Salvador said he was a fisherman and familiar with the sea.

Talked to fisherman at the Chala pier. They said that almost immediately after the shaking stopped the water started to recede. The flow direction appeared to be towards the south. It withdrew out to some rocks some 100 m offshore. In the following hour, the water went in and out 2 times. As the water started to withdraw, the people generally ran to the hills behind the village. They also said the pier was knocked over by a tsunami in 1942.

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