Earthquake potential in Pacific Northwest

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azbackpackr
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Earthquake potential in Pacific Northwest

Post by azbackpackr » Jul 14 2015 7:17 am

Probably most of you have read or heard about the possibility of a big earthquake occurring in the Seattle area sometime in the future. The following article explains what may happen. It's not only a good article, it's one of the best articles I've read in some time about any topic. It's also terrifying. I'm not moving there:

http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/ ... ly-big-one
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chumley
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Re: Earthquake potential in Pacific Northwest

Post by chumley » Jul 14 2015 7:46 am

Interesting piece. Takes some scientific liberties in order to appeal to the general populace and/or whoever the demographic of the New Yorker is.

I personally think that Yellowstone will erupt first. Which of course is almost as relevant as the article.

Scientific fact says you'd be safer in either place than driving a van to the Grand Canyon today.
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Re: Earthquake potential in Pacific Northwest

Post by azbackpackr » Jul 14 2015 7:54 am

Haha! I'm thinking of quitting that job at the end of the tour season. Hope I make it!

But I'm still not moving to the Pacific Northwest. The climate would not agree with me at all.
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Re: Earthquake potential in Pacific Northwest

Post by The_Eagle » Jul 14 2015 8:02 am

chumley wrote: whoever the demographic of the New Yorker is.
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chumley
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Re: Earthquake potential in Pacific Northwest

Post by chumley » Jul 14 2015 9:04 am

@The Eagle
So not geologists then? ;)
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Re: Earthquake potential in Pacific Northwest

Post by rcorfman » Jul 14 2015 10:22 am

I grew up in the great PNW with wonderful views of the Puget Sound and Olympics from my home - when it wasn't gray out. It was pretty easy to get a nice view of Mt. Rainier too. When it's nice up there, it can't be beat. I'm heading up there for a week this August. I hope to thru-hike the Wonderland trail around Rainier next summer. I've been hearing about that gloom and doom scenario all my life. I suppose it may happen some time.
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Re: Earthquake potential in Pacific Northwest

Post by CannondaleKid » Jul 14 2015 11:53 am

There is a possibility of an asteroid striking the earth somewhere... so I'm not moving there. ;)

In the same vein as Chumley pointed out, the odds of being killed or injured on the drive to a hike than during the hike. Still, that said, I'm not about to waste one second of time worrying about the possibility of stuff that may never happen.
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Re: Earthquake potential in Pacific Northwest

Post by azbackpackr » Jul 15 2015 6:37 am

Well, shoot. It's an interesting article, though, especially if you actually READ it. Because I wonder if you already knew that part about the big earthquake on January 26, 1700? The fact that these geologists figured out when it happened by the records in Japan of the "orphan tsunami" was, I thought, the most interesting part of the article.

So, if you (collective, not specific person in thread) are saying: "Oh, yeah, duh, I've heard of this for years," which is what I almost did, and you didn't read the article, then you missed a good yarn.

It's a good article because the New Yorker hires real journalists. It's a magazine worth reading which is sold all over the U.S. because it is one of few that still values good journalism. Think John McPhee.
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Re: Earthquake potential in Pacific Northwest

Post by sbkelley » Jul 15 2015 2:26 pm

No question that Cascadia is an area worth watching - it's been relatively quiet for awhile, save for the Mt St Helens incident(s). Of course, that subduction zone has given us some great mountains (Rainier, Hood, Baker, etc.), since, as my geology TA once told me in an undergrad class, "subduction leads to orogeny!"

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Re: Earthquake potential in Pacific Northwest

Post by chumley » Jul 15 2015 3:50 pm

Nerd alert! :pk:
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Re: Earthquake potential in Pacific Northwest

Post by garyc57 » Jul 15 2015 5:24 pm

sbkelley wrote:orogeny
Where's my Funk and Wagnalls?! :lol:

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Re: Earthquake potential in Pacific Northwest

Post by rcorfman » Jul 16 2015 9:56 am

@azbackpackr
It is an interesting article and I'm glad you let me know of it here. At first I figured it was about Rainier erupting again. One thing though, the article said there hasn't been any earth quakes in the area in recent history, but that isn't true. I remember one at breakfast time when I was a child. My brother was laughing his head off when his high chair was rocking back and forth. My mother was freaking out and ran up and down the hallway pleading the virgin Mary for protection. I was preschool age so this was around 1965 or so (just looked it up, April 29, 1965). Well perhaps that was on a different fault line so not considered for the article.
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Re: Earthquake potential in Pacific Northwest

Post by chumley » Jul 16 2015 1:38 pm

The BBC did a great special on how we are all going to die. Grab some popcorn first.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vEgLjgnv_3c
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Re: Earthquake potential in Pacific Northwest

Post by Alston_Neal » Jul 16 2015 2:26 pm

chumley wrote:The BBC did a great special on how we are all going to die.
This could seriously impact my bucket list.
In Japan they say only old people and crazy people hike mountains...........yep


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Re: Earthquake potential in Pacific Northwest

Post by sbkelley » Jul 16 2015 10:48 pm

Ha! That BBC show is on par with the quality of their Supervolcano gem!

Oh, hotspots - taking the spotlight away from tectonic margins...

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Re: Earthquake potential in Pacific Northwest

Post by azbackpackr » Jul 17 2015 5:27 am

I'm not a big worrier.

But as I said, I really liked the part of the article about how the geologists came up with the date of the last "Big One" in the Northwest, even roughly the time of day, January 26, 1700, at about nine a.m. Of course, if the Japanese didn't keep such good records of tsunamis it would have been impossible to figure out.
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Re: Earthquake potential in Pacific Northwest

Post by chumley » Jul 17 2015 7:38 am

azbackpackr wrote:It's an interesting article, though, especially if you actually READ it. Because I wonder if you already knew that part about the big earthquake on January 26, 1700?.... It's a good article because the New Yorker hires real journalists.
Or at least good plagiarizers, since all that was published by scientists long ago, and the article is basically a transcript of the BBC special from over a decade ago! :)
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Re: Earthquake potential in Pacific Northwest

Post by friendofThundergod » Jul 23 2015 3:29 pm

@azbackpackr
Look what you started ;) :lol:

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/theres ... ar-AAdnGVQ
And the people felt the ground shaking and saw the water rising. Or at least, they heard the cries of the New Yorker saying so. And when the people knew that the Big One was coming, they trembled with fear. Well, some of them did.

The Biblical tone is appropriate. There really is a 9.0 earthquake/skyscraper-sized tsunami predicted to unmoor coastal life as we know it in the Pacific Northwest—quite possibly within the next 50 years. Last week the New Yorker trumpeted the story of these apocalyptic truths with terrifying exactness. 13,000 are projected to die, and millions more will be injured or displaced. It will take decades, and an incalculable sum, to recover.

But the article’s fear-mongering has also had an activating effect: People are suddenly buying emergency survival kits in droves. The Seattle Timeswrites of earthquake packages ‘flying off shelves’:
“Holy cow!” Steve O’Donnell remembers thinking, as he checked the online orders at the Burien headquarters of American Preparedness.

Sales were going through the roof.
If you go on the websites of Costco, Staples or Amazon, you’ll see the small, eight-person company’s earthquake-preparedness kits for sale.

For $179.99, you can get a 2-person, 7-day kit.

For $139.99, it’s a 4-person, 3-day kit.

Packed with water, meal bars, ponchos, matches, and much more, these kits offer a convenient measure of preparedness, which the region is woefully short on. As the New Yorker article details, the region’s states are still lax on building standards and lack much in the way of evacuation training or communication. One Oregon community recently voted down a bond measure that would have paid for a new K-12 campus outside the tsunami inundation zone.

And even though American Preparedness is seeing a sharp rise in sales, the uptick in action isn’t universal. The Seattle Times writes:

Only a quarter of Seattleites are putting together an earthquake kit and building a family plan, says Barb Graff, director of emergency management for the city. That’s from a just-completed city survey.

And this “boomlet” for survival kits is probably just that—a temporary spark in concern, lit by a viral article. As I recently wrote, psychology tells us that we tend to have trouble getting worked up and mobilized over risks that are far-off and faceless. Certainly, it helps when an influential magazine runs a particularly well-written account of what those risks will look like.

To really sustain and spread an interest in preparedness, however, the Pacific Northwest will need to do more than stock earthquake kits. Government agencies will need to regularly, and thoughtfully, communicate the risks of the earthquake and tsunami to come. Building standards should be amped up and reported to the public. Cities should help subsidize the relatively low costs of securing foundations and bolting water heaters for homeowners and apartment managers.

But there’s no doubt that emergency kits are a great place to start. And anyone—whether their city is prone to earthquakes, tornados, hurricanes, or stormy power outages—can prepare their own kits. The Centers for Disease Control,FEMA, and the city of Seattle all have handy tips and checklists. We can hope to never have to use them. Unfortunately, as big natural hazards increase in frequency and severity all over the world, the odds have never been higher.

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Re: Earthquake potential in Pacific Northwest

Post by azbackpackr » Jul 23 2015 9:23 pm

Interesting spin! I still don't want to move there. But I never did before I heard all this stuff anyway.

It rains too much and I might melt.
There is a point of no return unremarked at the time in most lives. Graham Greene The Comedians
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Re: Earthquake potential in Pacific Northwest

Post by friendofThundergod » Jul 24 2015 7:00 am

@azbackpackr
It is a bit of a spin isn't it? They kind of imply that the article was some conspiracy by the New Yorker to spread fear along the west coast..lol

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