Aug 17, 2009

waiting for the Big One

Northwesterners have heard for years that a massive earthquake is bound to crash Washington state sometime, maybe soon, and it'll make the Nisqually Quake of '01 feel like a rumble of indigestion in comparison. And now, it might hit closer to home than we think.
Whereas scientists once predicted that a mega-earthquake would be centered just off the Northwest coast, now – using data from the tremors research – they say that it could be 30 miles or more inland, under the Olympic Peninsula, which lies to the west of Seattle and Tacoma across Puget Sound.

“The closer you are to the source, the stronger the shaking,” said Steve Malone, a research professor emeritus at the University of Washington.

Exactly how much stronger, and how much more damage such a quake would cause in the Puget Sound area, hasn’t been calculated, Malone said.
Read the whole thing to find out what researchers did to come to a new, controversial conclusion, and why not all geologists are convinced.

Also, if you own a home anywhere within commuting distance of Seattle, you might want to think about buying earthquake insurance.

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