published Friday, March 11th, 2011

Extensive damage reported at Southern Oregon harbor

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    Ocean waters from a tsunami surge hit the rocky coast in Seaside, Ore., Friday, March, 11, 2011. The tsunami traveled across the Pacific Ocean after an 8.9-magnitude earthquake struck the east coast of Japan. (AP Photo/Don Ryan)(AP Photo/Don Ryan)

NIGEL DUARA andTIM FOUGHT,Associated Press

SEASIDE, Ore. (AP) — Tsunami surges sank several boats in Brookings harbor on Friday, swept half a dozen others out to sea and washed into the ocean four people who were later rescued, said authorities in Southern Oregon.

Much of the commercial part of the Brookings harbor was destroyed, said Curry County Sheriff John Bishop.

One man with a history of heart problems was found dead aboard a commercial vessel. It was unclear exactly how he died but it was likely from natural causes, he said.

The damage was the worst reported in Oregon, as waves generated by an earthquake off Japan rolled across the Pacific and onto the Oregon coast.

Four people who went to a beach north of Brookings to watch the waves were instead swept into the sea, but all survived, Bishop said. Two got out on their own and the other two were rescued.

In Brookings, damages will be in the millions, Bishop said.

"The port is in total disarray," he told The Associated Press at midday Friday as the surges continued. "Most of the front part of the commercial basin is gone."

The man who was found dead was described as a "live-aboard" on the vessel, Bishop said.

None of the vessels that were swept out to sea had people aboard, he said.

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