Researchers at the USGS, Sacramento State University and the Washington State Military Department recently published an article on how to compare sites for vertical-evacuation refuges to minimize loss of life from tsunamis associated with Cascadia subduction zone earthquakes. The case study of Ocean Shores, Washington, integrates refuge options derived at Project Safe Haven workshops, geospatial pedestrian evacuation modeling, and statistical methods to compare benefits and tradeoffs. The article is available online from the International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction at http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2212420914000387. For more information, contact Nathan Wood, Portland, OR, 503-251-3291, firstname.lastname@example.org.
The February 2014 issue of National Geographic magazine includes a story about plans to build a tsunami refuge at Ocosta Elementary School in Westport, Washington. The story includes quotes from CREW member John Schelling (State of Washington) and mapped evacuation-modeling results from CREW member Nathan Wood (USGS).
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Two new federally-funded studies say vertical evacuation structures could save thousands of Washington coastal residents from deadly tsunami waves.
A series of specially constructed berms, towers, and buildings could save an estimated 24,750 residents and visitors in Pacific and Grays Harbor counties which have more than 120 miles of Pacific Ocean coastline lying only a short distance from the Cascadia Subduction Zone. Geologic studies have shown that the low-lying coastal zones of these counties have experienced Magnitude 9+ Cascadia earthquakes and tsunamis about every 300 to 500 years over the past 3,500 years.