Emergency MGT] The last damaging earthquake in Washington struck 15 years ago, on Feb. 28, 2001.
The next one is scheduled for June 7.
The ground isn’t expected to actually shake this spring. But nearly
6,000 emergency and military personnel will pretend it is during a
four-day exercise to test response to a seismic event that will dwarf
the 2001 Nisqually quake: A Cascadia megaquake and tsunami.
Called “Cascadia Rising,” the exercise will be the biggest ever
conducted in the Pacific Northwest. Which is fitting, because a rupture
on the offshore fault called the Cascadia Subduction Zone could be the
biggest natural disaster in U.S. history.
“It’s really going to require the entire nation to respond to an event
like this,” said Kenneth Murphy, regional director for the Federal
Emergency Management Agency, which is coordinating the exercise.
While the Nisqually earthquake measured magnitude 6.8, a Cascadia
megaquake is likely to hit magnitude 9 — which is nearly 2,000 times
more powerful. It will affect the entire West Coast from British
Columbia to Northern California, including Seattle, Portland, Tacoma and
Vancouver, B.C. The quake will be closely followed by tsunamis 30 feet
high — or bigger — that will slam into oceanfront communities. Read More