A new Oregon State Department of Geology report concludes that “no hospital facilities are likely to be functional due to the expected severity of a magnitude 9 Cascadia earthquake and tsunami damage. Seismic vulnerabilities include building structures; non-structural components that are part of the building as well as equipment; and the limitations of on-site utilities such as power and water. Four of the eleven hospitals are located in the tsunami evacuation zone and face difficulties with tsunami planning. ” The hospitals were constructed before CSZ earthquake expectations were known, and suffere from inadequate seismic resilience. There are worries about fuel and water accessibility post-quake in addition to the possible damage from the earthquake and tsunami. The hospitals are expected to take over three years to recover from such a quake.
From the Oregonian Editorial Board, Turning Anxiety to Action on the Cascadia Quake.
The New Yorker’s Pulitzer prize-winning piece on the massive destruction expected from a Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake understandably struck fear in the hearts of many Oregonians who immediately set to work stocking emergency kits. At least some of them did. For a while.
Then came the terrifying video from Multnomah County, showing how the Burnside Bridge could rumble, torque and collapse after an 8-plus magnitude quake. The destruction alone is devastating to watch – even if by animated simulation. But it’s almost paralyzing to listen to the narration describing how bridge debris will block cars, emergency vehicles, trains and ships needed to bring supplies and evacuate victims.
It’d be easy to shove another recent state report into that corner in your brain where the darkest worries hang out. But despite its jarring numbers, the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries’ assessment released last week hits a few bright notes…
No matter how far you go, at least start.
Washingtonians can join them today by registering for the 2017 Great Washington ShakeOut. Participating is a great way for your family or organization to be prepared to survive and recover quickly from big earthquakes– wherever you live, work, or travel. Learn tips on how to get 2 Weeks Ready and craft your own emergency kits here. ShakeOut is also a major activity of America’s PrepareAthon!
Start here to be included in the 2017 Washington ShakeOut!
The Pacific Coast of Washington is at risk from tsunamis. These destructive waves can be caused by coastal or submarine landslides or volcanism, but they are most commonly caused by large submarine earthquakes.
Tsunamis are generated when these geologic events cause large, rapid movements in the sea floor that displace the water column above. That swift change creates a series of high-energy waves that radiate outward like pond ripples. Offshore tsunamis would strike the adjacent shorelines within minutes and also cross the ocean at speeds as great as 600 miles per hour to strike distant shores. In 1946, a tsunami was initiated by an earthquake in the Aleutian Islands of Alaska; in less than 5 hours, it reached Hawaii with waves as high as 55 feet and killed 173 people.
Tsunami waves can continue for hours. The first wave can be followed by others a few minutes or a few hours later, and the later waves are commonly larger. Washington Emergency Management Tsunami Program
The earthquake threat in Washington is not uniform. While most earthquakes occur in Western Washington, some damaging events, such as the 1872 magnitude 6.8 (est.) quake, do occur east of the Cascades. Geologic evidence documents prehistoric magnitude 8 to 9.5 earthquakes along the outer coast, and events of magnitude 7 or greater along shallow crustal faults in the urban areas of Puget Sound.
Washington’s earthquake hazards reflect its tectonic setting. The Pacific Northwest is at a convergent continental margin, the collision boundary between two tectonic plates of the earth’s crust. The Cascadia subduction zone, the fault boundary between the North America plate and the Juan de Fuca plate, lies offshore from northern California to southern British Columbia. The two plates are converging at a rate of about 2 inches per year. In addition, the northward-moving Pacific plate is pushing the Juan de Fuca plate north, causing complex seismic strain to accumulate. The abrupt release of this slowly accumulated strain causes earthquakes.
Earthquakes at Washington Military Department Emergency Management Division.
In Washington, earthquakes and landslides are the most likely sources of a tsunami.
The Pacific Rim countries have a history of damaging tsunamis caused by both distant and local earthquakes. Earthquakes have caused 98% of the world’s tsunamis with over 73% of these being observed along the Pacific “Ring of Fire”. For this reason, communities in low-lying coastal areas around the Pacific Rim are among the most at risk to tsunami damages generated from both local and distant sources that can strike within minutes to many hours.
Washington State Earthquake Scenario Catalog (Washington State Department of Natural Resources)
DNR Interactive Geology Portal (Washington State Department of Natural Resources)
The Seattle Fault – Beneath Largest City in the Pacific Northwest (2 minute Geology, from HUGEfloods.com Youtube Channel)
Tsunami inundation maps (Washington State Department of Natural Resources)
Tsunami Evacuation Zones (Washington State Department of Natural Resources)
Recent Earthquakes Map (Pacific Northwest Seismic Network)
Earthquakes in Washington (United States Geological Survey)
The FMRE National Emergency Net has activated on 7.060 MHz following a magnitude 7.1 earthquake in the central Mexico state of Puebla at 1814 UTC on Tuesday. The net also uses 3.690 MHz and 14.120 MHz as well as IRLP reflector 9200, channel 08.
The epicenter was some 75 miles southeast of Mexico City, which felt the temblor. Preliminary reports indicate a lot of collapsed buildings and missing people.
The FMRE net has been handling traffic to make up for the loss of some cellular networks, FMRE President Al Tomez, XE2O, told ARRL. The earthquake came 32 years to the day after a 1985 magnitude 8.0 earthquake struck the Mexico City, killing some 9,500 people in and around the capital city.
Just one week ago, a magnitude 8.1 earthquake struck off Mexico’s southern coast, killing more than 60 people and causing considerable damage.
The National Emergency Net of the FMRE — Mexico’s national Amateur Radio association, has activated on 7.060 MHz (the Net also may operate on 3.690 MHz) to handle any emergency traffic after a late evening earthquake occurred off Mexico’s coast. Radio amateurs not involved in the earthquake disaster should avoid those frequencies.
The potent magnitude 8.2 earthquake off Mexico’s Pacific Coast — the strongest in 100 years — has resulted in multiple fatalities so far, including 23 in Oaxaca, seven in Chiapas, and 2 in Tabasco. Rescue and recovery efforts are under way to free victims trapped in the rubble.
The tremor was felt around Central America. At 0500 UTC, Jose Arturo Molina, YS1MS, reported feeling a strong temblor within a few minutes of the earthquake in Chiapas, which is near Mexico’s border with Guatemala. In Honduras, Antonio Handal, HR2DX, located on the North Coast, also reported feeling the quake.
The Central American Network operates at 7.090 kHz, and Guatemala at 7.075 MHz. No reports have been heard yet from Guatemalan radio amateurs. In Southeastern Mexico, FMRE has a link to the WL2K Network with capacity to cover Mexico and Central America. — Thanks to IARU Region 2 Coordinator Cesar Pio Santos, HR2P, for some information