Distant Tsunamis

Great earthquakes similar to a Cascadia subduction zone earthquake are possible around the Pacific Ocean margin (often referred to as the “Ring of Fire”), such as Alaska, Japan, and Chile.

Although communities in the Cascadia region do not experience the catastrophic ground shaking associated with these great earthquakes generated elsewhere, they do receive tsunami waves several hours later.

These waves are not as large as those generated by a local source (such as Cascadia subduction zone), but do create heightened currents that have damaged boats and port and harbor facilities in the Cascadia region.

Recent examples of damaging tsunami waves that arrived hours later after a great earthquake elsewhere include the 2011 Tohoku, 2010 Chile, and 1964 Alaskan earthquakes.