Earthquake News

The region was damaged by a megathrust earthquake 314 years ago. ready for another?

Earthquake experts in Washington never miss a chance to scare the living daylights out of us, reminding us that this past Sunday marked the 314th anniversary of the last megathrust earthquake in the Cascadia Subduction Zone, which, had we all been present, would have destroyed much of Seattle and the region's infrastructure.

And another one is overdue.

The Cascadia Region Earthquake Workgroup has therefore modified their scenario document to account for what an earthquake of that size would mean for us today.

In a press statement, the group stated:

According to Michael Kubler, president of the Cascadia Region Earthquake Workgroup (CREW), the very innovations that form the basis of our contemporary communities produce vulnerability in addition to ease. The updated Cascadia scenario is a vital resource for area decision-makers as they create plans and regulations for the upcoming earthquake. A future earthquake in the Cascadia Subduction Zone has increased our knowledge of earthquake science and the dangers it poses to our region.

For some further context, here is a portion of the article we published last summer, which stated: "Canadian study shows megathrust earthquake is due in NW:

Canadian researchers in the Effingham Inlet in British Columbia have found evidence that the Northwest is about to see a megathrust earthquake that could devastate entire cities.

The last time the Earth's surface trembled and slipped was 300 years ago, and that was simply the most recent of 22 such quakes in the previous 11,000 years along the Cascadia Subduction Zone, which runs the length of the coast from northern Vancouver Island down to California.

The researchers utilized a new aging model to detect and date disturbed sedimentary layers in an inlet core, and their work was just published in the Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences.

According to a science news website operated by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the abnormalities seem to have been brought on by huge and megathrust earthquakes that have happened over the previous 11,000 years.

And in October, we published the following: Study: Big earthquake poses landslide risk to 8,000 Seattle buildings:

According to research published in the Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, Seattle will sustain worse and wider-spread landslide damage than originally anticipated.

The Seattle Fault, a 30-mile crack that runs through Seattle, under CenturyLink Field, and on to Issaquah, was the subject of the investigation. It can cause massive harm and is about to erupt again, but no one is sure when.

As the fault runs just south of downtown, a significant earthquake along the Seattle Fault is among the worst possible outcomes for the region, according to Kate Alltstadt, a doctorate student at the University of Washington and research co-author.

The CREW press announcement on the anniversary and the revised Cascadia earthquake scenario is provided below:

A New Perspective on the Next Great Cascadia Earthquake in the Northwest

One hundred years before Lewis and Clark first set eyes on the Pacific Ocean, the last earthquake in the Cascadia Subduction Zone happened. It was a time when local legends described the earth trembling and the seas rising. In tsunami inundation zones, there were no bridges to collapse and no schools, hospitals, or other crucial infrastructure. Cascadia was much more resilient back then than it is now.

According to Michael Kubler, president of the Cascadia Region Earthquake Workgroup (CREW), the very innovations that form the basis of our contemporary communities produce vulnerability in addition to ease. The updated Cascadia scenario is a vital resource for area decision-makers as they create plans and regulations for the upcoming earthquake. A future earthquake in the Cascadia Subduction Zone has increased our knowledge of earthquake science and the dangers it poses to our region.

The northern California, Oregon, Washington, and southern British Columbia coastlines all lie within the boundaries of the Cascadia Subduction Zone. Without a doubt, Cascadia is capable of unleashing earthquakes and tsunamis with the same destructive power as the earthquakes that ravaged Japan's east coast in 2011 and the magnitude 9.0 quake that struck off Chile in 2010. Since the January 26, 1700, huge earthquake that struck Cascadia, tensions have been accumulating on the fault. The Cascadia subduction zone is currently one of the most researched and monitored places in the world, despite the fact that the full scope of the seismic threat was not realized until the 1980s.

The Cascadia earthquake scenario was first published by CREW in 2005, but according to Heidi Kandathil, executive director of CREW, "so much new evidence has emerged that an update was needed2."

The Cascadia Scenario, which has recently been revised, is one of several free products created by CREW to assist locals, companies, schools, planners, and emergency managers in getting ready for future earthquakes. Online resources including the Scenario are accessible at http://tinyurl.com/m34v2ex.

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