What would a tsunami do to Tacoma? DNR map shows possible scenario

Tacoma tsunami map
Colors show potential depth of water in Tacoma if a 7.3 M earthquake on the Seattle fault generated a tsunami. Map: NOAA & DNR/Geology & Earth Resources Div.

Left out of our blogs during National Tsunami Awareness week (March 20-26) was this recently published tsunami impact map for Tacoma. The map shows the potential impact of a major tsunami on Tacoma and neighboring Fife. DNR’s Division Geology and Earth Resources works with federal agencies to produce maps like this for local emergency planners.

The map, produced by DNR and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), looks at various scenarios that could generate a tsunami in Puget Sound. Portions of the Tacoma tideflats —  port and industrial areas mainly but not many homes – could be under 6 feet of water or more if a 7.3 earthquake hit the Seattle fault. This occurence happens about once in 2,500 years. The last large quake on that fault about 1,000 years ago.

The Tacoma map and others in the series were funded by federal grants through the National Weather Service. Federal funds also help pay for DNR’s mapping of tsunami escape routes in low-lying coastal areas of Washington state. DNR and NOAA have produced tsunami threat maps of Seattle, Port Townsend and other areas of the state.

Follow DNR on: Facebook Fan See us on Flickr Watch us YouTube Follow us on Twitter Follow DNR Fire Twitter Join in the DNR Forum