Risk Of Huge Pacific Northwest Earthquake Heightened

Risk Of Huge Pacific Northwest Earthquake Heightened

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It wasn’t known until recently, but approximately every 300 years, the Cascadia subduction fault erupts, causing a terrifying approximately 9.0 earthquake.

On Wednesday, scientists put out an alert that, after a semi-annual “slow slip” event near Seattle, the chances of a devastating earthquake have increased somewhat.

A slow slip event usually happens about every 14 months in the Puget sound area. It’s effectively a slow earthquake that happens over about 2 weeks.

During a slow slip, the Juan de Fuca tectonic plate, which typically moves toward the east, stalls out and moves west, putting pressure on the already volatile Cascadia subduction zone.

“It’s loading up the edge of the lock zone of the Cascadia subduction zone more rapidly than normal tectonic processes would do,” said Bill Steele, director of communications at the PNSN.

“You’re getting seven months of strain accumulation applied to the back edge of the fault over a week.”

The last time the Cascadia subduction zone erupted in a quake was in the year 1700. There exists only oral legends of the event from indigenous people, as well as the story of a “phantom tsunami” in Japan.

So if you live in Northern California, Oregon, Washington, or British Columbia, you might want to be extra sure you have some water and canned food stored.


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