Cascadia Subduction ZoneAn article published in The New Yorker has placed Northwest residents on the edge about “The Really Big One,” a potential 9.0 earthquake that’s predicted to pummel Portland and Seattle sometime in the next 50 years (the article says the odds of a big earthquake hitting during that time are 1 in 3).

While the excellent and terrifying report outlines just how deadly the earthquake could be, providing specifics about what could happen in the Northwest and how unprepared we are, it’s not news to many in the region.

  1. It’s Late! Portland is overdue – The last big earthquake was 315 years ago. A 9.0 rocked the Cascadia Subduction Zone in 1700. Although Oregon was inhabited by Native Americans at the time and no written records exist, it changed the landscape of the area and likely caused a tsunami similar to the 2011 one in Japan. An event of this magnitude has historically hit the region approximately once every 300 years.
  2. They are everywhere! While the Cascadia Subduction Zone could trigger the massive earthquake, there are at least five other faults that could create destructive 5.0 or larger earthquakes in Portland along!
  3. And there is more! An earthquake-caused tsunami would likely slam into the Oregon Coast about half an hour after the earthquake hits. This will raise the water level as much as 13 feet just inside the mouth of the Columbia River and almost 7 feet near Astoria.

Take a moment to read this online and pass it around – excellent writing and good factual information.