Chilean quake and tsunami are reminders of Washington State’s hazards

Nisqually Earthquake
Road damage at Sunset Lake, Tumwater, from the 2001 Nisqually Earthquake. Photo: Steven Kramer/University of Washington.

On Tuesday, the Seattle Times ran an article about the earthquake and tsunami hazards that we face in Washington State. The recent earthquake and tsunami in Chile are good reminders of Washington State’s risks. A similar type of earthquake fault lies just off our coast.  The Cascadia Fault is a subduction zone, which occurs where two tectonic plates meet and  one is slipping beneath the other. These faults are cabable of especially powerful quakes, and the Northwwest has seen a few in the past.

Geologists from DNR identify, assess, and map various geologic hazards, including earthquakes and tsumani zones. Our hazard maps are used for land-use and emergency-management planning, disaster response, and building-code amendment.

Previous Ear to the Ground blogs about Washington’s risks of destructive earthquakes and tsunamis:

Tsunamis: DNR studies risks to Washington’s coasts
September 22, 2009

We’re number two! (in U.S. earthquake risks)
September 21, 2009

New map shows impact of tsunami on Tacoma
August 14, 2009