New Yorker article - The earthquake that's overdue.

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  • "An earthquake will destroy a sizable portion of the coastal Northwest. The question is when."

    So this doesn't exactly make for light reading. Interesting nonetheless - especially to those living within the area - and y'know, science. ... ly-big-one

    Just north of the San Andreas, however, lies another fault line. Known as the Cascadia subduction zone, it runs for seven hundred miles off the coast of the Pacific Northwest, beginning near Cape Mendocino, California, continuing along Oregon and Washington, and terminating around Vancouver Island, Canada.

    ...we now know that the odds of the big Cascadia earthquake happening in the next fifty years are roughly one in three. The odds of the very big one are roughly one in ten. Even those numbers do not fully reflect the danger—or, more to the point, how unprepared the Pacific Northwest is to face it. The truly worrisome figures in this story are these: Thirty years ago, no one knew that the Cascadia subduction zone had ever produced a major earthquake. Forty-five years ago, no one even knew it existed.
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  • Very interesting article. Thanks!
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  • I knew a guy who experienced a Richter 7.6 during WW two in Seattle. He was working on the docks when it hit so he and his buddy sprinted towards the land, and the shock wave propagated through the dock, knocking both of them off of their feet while at a full run, virtually tackling them if you will. He said he will never forget that experience.
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  • SEATTLE — Those living in the Northwest know the next big earthquake could happen at any time. However, an article in the New Yorker takes that threat a step further, detailing what will happen when it does hit.

    Experts say older buildings and structures in Seattle, like the Alaska Way Viaduct, would be most vulnerable during an earthquake, but they don’t believe the devastation is going to be like anything depicted in the movies.

    The New Yorker article discusses the possibility of a major earthquake and its impact, quoting FEMA’s regional director, Kenneth Murphy, as saying, “Our operating assumption is that everything west of Interstate 5 will be toast.”

    John Vidale is the state’s seismologist, and he has his own idea of what that means.

    “The article had a lot of good information in it and there is a lot of real risk and a lot of preparation we need to do, but it was a little ‘Hollywood’ because it made it seem like it was going to be burning rubble if we had an earthquake,” said Vidale.

    “The idea that the entire West Coast is going to be toast is kind of more a long-term economic reality. Some of the older buildings and some of the freeways might have problems; they might even come down, but mostly people are going to be isolated from their source — so food and water and power.”

    He said there is a one in 300 chance a year that a major earthquake will hit the Pacific Northwest. ... ke-in-pnw/
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