A new report says that the U.S. West Coast remains under-prepared for a tsunami. The story was reported on Seattle’s KING-5 TV. The congressionally requested report from the National Research Council says an earthquake on the offshore Cascadia subduction zone fault could send giant waves crashing to the shores of Washington as well as Oregon and Northern California. Depending on where on the fault the earthquake was centered, the waves could hit within minutes, allowing very little time for local authorities to issue warnings or evacuation orders.
The entire Washington coast as well as Puget Sound is at-risk for a major tsunami.
If you are on the coast and feel an earthquake or see the water receding quickly and unusually — sometimes a warning sign — don’t wait for a tsunami warning. Move immediately to high ground!
DNR works closely with the Washington Emergency Management Division and other agencies, such as Cascadia Region Earthquake Workgroup (CREW), to prepare local populations for a tsunami using publications and local informational meetings.
DNR publications about tsunamis include:
- Evacuation brochures for the outer coast and other at-risk areas,
- Tsunami inundation maps for use by local governments and land-use planners (south coast, Elliott Bay, Tacoma, Bellingham, Anacortes–Whidbey Island, Port Angeles, Port Townsend, Quileute, and Neah Bay).
- TsuInfo Alert, a newsletter for tsunami scientists and emergency managers.
DNR’s Washington Geology Library maintains an extensive collection on the subject of tsunamis.
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