SEATTLE — On January 26, 1700 an estimated M9 earthquake unzipped the 700+ mile Cascadia Subduction Zone fault from northern California, USA to southern British Columbia, Canada, much like recent events in 2011 in Japan and 2010 in Chile. The newly released “Cascadia Subduction Zone Earthquakes: A Magnitude 9.0 Earthquake Scenario” examines how the Pacific Northwest may fare after the next great ‘megathrust’ earthquake and tsunami. “The new report conveys the most current scientific and emergency planning information accessible to a wide variety of audiences.” said Tamra Biasco of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, one of the lead authors.
The new report by the Cascadia Region Earthquake Workgroup (CREW) summarizes not only why these earthquakes occur repeatedly, but also the likely consequences of the next Cascadia fault rupture. Future Cascadia earthquakes and tsunamis will have lasting impacts to coastal communities and the potential to inflict tens of billions of dollars in physical damage, dramatically impacting the region’s economy.
Written by a team of social scientists, emergency managers, earth scientists, engineers, public administrators, and businessmen under the umbrella of CREW, the new scenario provides a guide to citizens curious about the geologic processes that make the Pacific Northwest so rich in natural beauty and resources, to planners wanting to know what hazards they face, and to policy makers striving to make the Pacific Northwest more resilient.
The newly released “Cascadia Subduction Zone Earthquakes: A Magnitude 9.0 Earthquake Scenario” can be found here and other free preparedness materials to help Cascadia residents, schools, businesses, and emergency managers become better prepared for future earthquakes are accessible under products. Production of the new scenario was made possible with support from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and CREW’s member organizations.