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The warning system covering the Pacific Ocean might save many lives if a tsunami strikes Southern California. But nothing can stop the destruction.
A new study puts the price tag for a worst-case scenario at $42 billion, and that does not include billions of dollars in additional damage caused directly by an earthquake that is pegged as the likely source of a potentially devastating tsunami.
Waves could inundate parts of the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. Many beach cities and smaller communities in Los Angeles and Orange County would suffer.
And there might not be enough time for a warning to be very useful.