The Cascadia Earthquake: A Disaster that Could Happen

2005 WordsJun 21, 20189 Pages
Imagine if a 9.0 earthquake struck the West Coast today, resulting in a giant tsunami. Coastal towns would be washed away or completely isolated, and electricity would be lost (FOX5). There would be $70 billion in damage and people would only have 15 minutest to evacuate or move to higher ground resulting in 10,000 deaths (FOX5). This sounds like a plot for a scary movie, but this is actually a reality. The Oregon Coast in located on a subduction zone, which makes it very susceptible to major earthquakes and tsunamis. With the Cascadia subduction zone running along he West Coast the threat of a major tsunami is very real. The scenario mentioned above was based on the rupture located along the Cascadia fault line. This fault system runs…show more content…
Luckily, there was no tsunami, but California and Oregon had waves up to 2.4 m high and obtained at least $10 million in damage (Mueller, 2014,1). The waves from the tsunami in Japan swept cars, planes, houses, and over 1.5 million tons of Japanese debris into the ocean, which have slowly floated towards the Unite State’s coast. Light objects like bins, balls, and buoys were the first to reach the United States, while large objects like docks took longer to wash ashore (Mueller, 2014,1). Along with the debris hundreds of organisms have made the long journey across the ocean. Some of theses organisms are extremely unpredictable and may be invasive (Earth Island Journal). As a result of the destruction of the Fukishima Nuclear Plant, large amounts of radiation could also stat to head towards the United States (Oregon Live). Already there have been traces of airborne radiation detected in milk in the United States (Oregon Live). As a result of the 2011 Japanese tsunami and earthquake, the State of Oregon commissioned a study of the earthquake and tsunami preparedness of Oregon in the event of a 9.0 Cascadia earthquake, called the Oregon Resiliency Plan (Davidson). Its findings reported how long services like electricity, water, sewage, police and fire stations, and health centers would take to be restores after such a destructive event (Davidson). The report also included some very chilling statistics about the affect it would have on Oregon alone:

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