A 7.5 magnitude earthquake on the Seattle Fault would trigger tsunami waves that would reach shore in less than three minutes. A computer simulation of such an event was developed by scientists from the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR). It aims to help local crisis management services ‘understand the risks’ and improve disaster response plans. Experts admit that the last known earthquake on the Seattle Fault occurred over a thousand years ago.
The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has published the results of a study showing the extent of damage that could be caused by tsunami waves triggered by a possible major earthquake in the Seattle fault area. A computer simulation of such an event was developed by geologists from the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR).
The simulation shows an example of the effect of a 7.5 earthquake on the Seattle Fault. “Tsunami waves can be nearly 13 meters high at the Seattle Great Wheel and travel inland as far as the Lumen Field and T-Mobile Park stadiums,” DNR wrote in a tweet on Thursday.
What was the simulation for?
The study was conducted to help local and state emergency planners to develop and refine emergency response and preparedness plans in the middle of a huge population center.
Scientists said that if a 7.5-magnitude earthquake occurred on the Seattle Fault, tsunami waves over 12 meters high could have reached the city in less than three minutes.
‘Tsunami-induced flooding and strong currents could continue for more than three hours from the start of the earthquake,’ the release reads. Computer simulation shows that after such a strong earthquake, flooding and shoreline changes would occur across the entire Seattle area.
Unlikely, but …
The researchers recall that the last known earthquake at the Seattle Fault occurred approximately 1,100 years ago. While the chances of this happening in our lifetime are slim, it is important that families prepare now, commented Maximilian Dixon of Washington State Emergency Management.
– Our duty as an administration is to ensure the safety of our residents, and such research is necessary in this, because you can analyze the data, understand the risks and forecasts, and prepare for future crisis situations – Bruce Harrell, the mayor of Seattle, explained.
Although the history of the earthquakes and tsunamis along the Seattle fault is less frequent than in the Cascadia subduction zone, the effects could be huge. That’s why it’s so important that these communities have the information they need to prepare and respond, said Hilary Franz, Washington’s Public Land Commissioner.
Recall that the Cascadia subduction zone is the confluence of tectonic plates that stretches from Vancouver Island in Canada to Northern California in the United States. She is “responsible” for the earthquakes that take place on the west coast of North America. Scientists warn that a region full of populated cities could experience a cataclysm of enormous scale.
CNN, dnr.wa.gov, tvnmeteo.pl
Main photo source: Washington State Department of Natural Resources