A research grant announced Tuesday will allow seismologists to take the first steps toward an early warning system for earthquakes in the Northwest. An operational system is still a long way off, but it could eventually resemble the computerized warnings pioneered in Japan. The $2 million grant from the Moore Foundation to the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network is part of a $6 million grant shared by the University of California Berkeley, Caltech, and the USGS. Prototype systems should be completed within the 3-year grant period.
A 23-page report by an EERI reconnaissance team on the Societal Dimensions of the March 11, 2011, Great East Japan (Tohoku) Earthquake and Tsunami is now available online. It covers the topics of emergency management, casualties, emergency shelter and housing, economic impacts, debris management, recovery planning, and research questions for each topic. The EERI report is available here.
This past week, dozens of emergency managers, geologists and state and local preparedness planners gathered in Seattle at the 5th annual Hazus conference. FEMA’s HAZUS is a loss estimation modeling program for earthquakes and can help communites prepare for earthquakes. KOMO News wrote an article on potential damage from a Seattle Earthquake (click here to see the article). CREW has used HAZUS to develop different earthquake scenarios that can be found here.
The expected 2011 episodic tremor and slip (ETS) event has done the unexpected by starting months early. These events happen in the deep part of the Cascadia Subduction Zone, “down dip” from the area where the Juan de Fuca Plate is completely locked against the North American Plate. These “slow earthquakes” reoccur every 14 months on average and have been remarkably consistent over the past decade. Another of these events was expected to begin in late October, early November 2011 but has begun months early. Details from the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network.