Sunday, August 23, 2015

Cascadia Earthquake and Tsunami 70 Years Overdue

Here's some startling bad news. Geologists say soil samples show the Cascadia region, the Pacific Northwest, gets regular massive earthquakes and tsunamis every 243 years. And the last one was on January 26, 1700. This means we're 72 years overdue.

Oregon coast. Photo from Pixabay.

This was revealed last month, July 2015, in a lengthy but well-written article published in the New Yorker magazine: The Really Big One.

Why didn't we know this already?

The West Coast of the USA hasn't been settled by Americans of European descent all that long. When the last cataclysm occurred in the Pacific Northwest, only Native Americans were there. Their stories about this event have been collected, including a story about an entire tribe living on Vancouver Island, BC, disappearing into a wave.

It isn't just Canada involved, however. The problem of colliding tectonic plates runs from Mendocino, California, up the coast into Canada. If tension needs to be released, the entire coastline could be jolted, then flooded and destroyed.

I love the coast, the beaches, the surf - just as much as anyone. I've spent a lot of time there. But with this information, I'm thinking that inland destinations are better.

It is sad that we might stay away from the ocean due to an event that might not even take place in our lifetimes, but we've seen the devastation that took place in Thailand and Japan. The threat of oceanic inundation is real, and if it happens, inescapable.

If you're living on the coast and are jolted awake by a large earthquake, you will have ten to thirty minutes to get to higher ground. Ten minutes isn't long, so consider sleeping fully clothed. If you have to run, then run for your life. Stopping for any reason will decrease your chance of survival.

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