Earthquake News

In 3 minutes, an earthquake in Seattle would cause a 20-foot wave, according to a state assessment.

According to a report released on Thursday by the Washington State Department of Natural Resources, a tsunami caused by a significant earthquake beneath Puget Sound would reach our coastlines sooner and farther inland than previously thought.

Models predicted that a tsunami from a magnitude 7.5 earthquake would reach portions of Bainbridge Island, Elliott Bay, and Alki Point in three minutes and submerge Seattle's waterfront beneath more than 20 feet of water.

Waves at the Seattle Great Wheel might be as high as 42 feet and extend as far as Lumen Field and T-Mobile Park.

During a news conference on the Seattle waterfront on Thursday, Public Lands Commissioner Hilary Franz stated that only three to five minutes separate a seismic event from the arrival of tsunami waves. Therefore, we conduct this study right away so that everyone is aware of it, our local state government is aware of it, and we can begin to plan, prepare, and take the required safeguards.

In comparison to earlier studies of the Seattle, Tacoma, and Everett areas published in 2003, 2009, and 2014, respectively, the current study employed more recent data on terrain and elevation, spanning a greater area.

Although Tacoma is expected to have less flooding than in earlier models, the latest analysis indicated that waves may move further inland.

According to the study, water levels might increase by 15 feet along portions of Harbor Island's northeast shore, and waves could travel up to half a mile inland between Smith Cove and Sodo and closer to a mile near the Port of Tacoma.

The waves get lesser north of Deception Pass, with an estimated average height of 5 feet.

Before it's too late, Franz urged locals to become more knowledgeable about the hazards that their community faces, sign up for earthquake and tsunami warnings, and put together an emergency kit with at least two weeks' worth of food, water, and other supplies.

As she put it, "We won't be able to design away all of the dangers associated with earthquakes and tsunamis, but we can use this new modeling to help us create plans insuring our resiliency when it comes."

Researchers from the department's Washington Geological Survey division utilized simulations of the magnitude 7.5 earthquake that happened roughly 1,100 years ago as the basis for their estimates of the height, arrival timing, and inland reach of a second wave should the catastrophe recur.

According to research, the fault has caused minor earthquakes five times in the last 3,500 years, the most of which were about 6.5 magnitude.

Most likely, the earthquake that occurred 1,100 years ago was the largest in the previous 16,000 years.

The forecasts were "scary," according to Alex Dolcimascolo of the Geological Survey division, one of the report's authors, even if it's likely that future earthquakes will be smaller than what was anticipated. To help folks get ready, we really wanted to underline this scenario.


This information is based on the DNR article: https://www.dnr.wa.gov/news/new-study-details-impacts-tsunami-fault-running-through-seattle

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