Posts Tagged ‘Seattle Earthquake’

New Earthquake Scenario Model for the Seattle Area

Tuesday, August 18th, 2009

Seismologists have measured minute movements within two massive tectonic plates over 25 miles below the Puget Sound basin of Washington State. Analysis of these tremor patterns, called “episodic tremor and slip”, suggested that an earthquake on the order of magnitude of 9.0 on the Richter scale, possibly followed by a tsunami, could strike much closer to Seattle than was indicated by earlier disaster scenario models. The most powerful earthquake ever to strike North America, the Great Alaska earthquake of 1964, measured 9.2 and resulted in a tsunami that struck that struck the northwestern United States. The 1906 San Francisco earthquake, the benchmark for earthquake fatalities, is believed to be an 8.3. The take-home message is that our understanding of catastrophic risks is changing owing to new threat scenarios. It is best not to assume anything based on geographic locale and instead prepare for the everyday disaster, which is the universal experience.