The Next Megaquake - Coming?

Posted by M ws On Friday, March 22, 2013 0 comments
Credence Clearwater Revival's famous hit "Have you ever seen the rain?" begins with 'There's a calm before the storm..."

Today, I am singing 'There's a calm before the wave..." Why?

A chilling new report by the Oregon Seismic Safety Policy Advisory Commission released last month reveals how more than 10,000 people could die WHEN (and not if) a monster earthquake and tsunami occurs just off the Pacific Northwest coast.

Previous tragedies have shown how coastal towns would be inundated, schools, buildings and bridges would collapse. However, if this were to happen, it has been estimated that economic damage could hit $32 billion.

I spent the whole morning today reading various articles and forum discussions about the report titled The Oregon Resilience Plan which you can read HERE. The summary of the report is accessible HERE.

According to Mark Lallanila of Live Science:

The clock is ticking on the next big earthquake in the Pacific Northwest, and experts fear it will be a monster. 
Following the deadly magnitude-9.0 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan in March 2011, Oregon legislators commissioned a study of the impact a similar quake could have on the state, according to the Associated Press. 
The report, "Oregon Resilience Plan: Reducing Risk and Improving Recovery for the Next Cascadia Earthquake and Tsunami," was presented to legislators Thursday (March 14). 
Within its pages is a chilling picture of death and destruction that would cripple the entire Pacific Northwest, from Northern California to British Columbia.

The Daily Mail carried an article AP which said:

Seismic experts say another monster quake and tsunami are overdue. 
'This earthquake will hit us again,' Kent Yu, an engineer and chairman of the commission, told lawmakers. 'It's just a matter of how soon.' 

Here's some useful background information from HERE by Andrew Alden, a science writer and geologist.

This week the commission issued its report, called the Oregon Resilience Plan, which "maps a path of policy and investment priorities for the next fifty years" according to its foreword.Given that it takes a whole day to turn around a large oil tanker, 50 years sounds about right for a whole state—cities, citizens and all—to take truly transformative steps against the kind of devastation a magnitude-9 event can bring. 
The same kind of earthquake that struck Japan will also happen in the U.S.—we know it as the Cascadia megathrust earthquake. Every few centuries the enormous plate boundary off the coast of the Pacific Northwest gives way. The last time was in January 1700, when large areas of land sank and drowned the forests, the local tribes witnessed terrible battles between earth and sea, and Japanese harbormasters recorded an "orphan tsunami" that enabled us to learn the exact date and time it happened. 
If we compare the death tolls from the 2004 Sumatra quake, in the third world, and the 2011 Tohoku quake, in the first, the benefits of earthquake resilience are obvious. A plan like Oregon's can reduce the human toll to a small fraction of what it would be today, and preparation can make the difference between a region bouncing back within months and languishing for decades. I hope that Oregon's efforts spread to its neighbors and other nations. CLICK HERE for more.

Please read:

1. The 1700 Cascadia Earthquake 

2. BBC's report on The Next Megaquake

3. BBC's transcript for the Q & A for The Next Megaquake

4. National Geographic's article by Tim Folger on "The Calm Before the Wave - When will the next tsunami hit?"

5. Associated Press: Report Makes Chilling Forecast on Northwest Quake, March 14th, 2013.

6. Google Link to 1.4 MILLION articles on this topic.

7. CLICK HERE for more information about Oregon Office of Emergency Management or Oregon Seismic Safety Policy Advisory Commission (OSSPAC) that prepared the report.

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