RIVERSIDE (CBSLA.com) — Inland areas of Ventura and Oxnard could be vulnerable to the effects of an earthquake-generated tsunami, according to computer models from seismologists at University of California, Riverside.

According to 3D models from seismologists from UCR and the U.S. Geological Survey, a magnitude-7.7 earthquake on the Pitas Point and Red Mountain faults, located off the shore of Ventura, could cause a tsunami that would flood areas beyond the California Emergency Management Agency’s tsunami zone in less than 30 minutes.

“The hazard from earthquake-generated tsunamis in the Ventura/Oxnard area has received relatively little attention,” UCR graduate student Kenny Ryan said in a statement. And with the area’s relatively flat topography along the coast, a tsunami can “inundate that area quite effectively.”

Researchers say faults in the Ventura basin of Southern California are capable of generating earthquakes of magnitude 7 or greater, as well as significant local tsunamis.

But UCR seismologists say this is just one scenario from their model, to illustrate the usefulness of rupture modeling in determining tsunami inundation.

“Our models simply give an indication of what may be possible in this region,” Ryan said.

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