earthquakes

Ray Bouknight / Flickr

The Federal government has allocated $3.7 million for an earthquake early warning system for the west coast. The U.S. Geological Survey awarded additional grant money to the University of Oregon.

AUSTIN JENKINS / Northwest News Network

Parachutes and MASH tents might be the Northwest’s best hope in the face of a 9.0 earthquake and coastal tsunami. This week emergency responders in Washington, Oregon and Idaho are practicing for a subduction zone quake.

Yakima Valley Emergency Management Office

If a 9.0 earthquake and tsunami hit Washington state, people in the central and eastern parts of the state would not be the hardest hit, but survival would not be a walk in the park either. That’s why emergency organizers east of the Cascade Mountains are preparing to handle that kind of disaster. 

Planes and parachutes might be the best bet for getting supplies to cut-off areas in the event of a subduction zone earthquake. National Guard pilots and paratroopers practiced supply drops and parachute jumps Thursday.

The state of Oregon has updated its master plan for what to do in case of a major earthquake and tsunami.

Congressman Calls For Earthquake Warning System For NW

Jul 28, 2015
U.S. Geological Survey

Oregon's Democratic Congressman Peter DeFazio introduced a bill Tuesday to fund an earthquake early warning system for the Pacific Northwest.

Engineer Calls Oregon Earthquake Investment 'A Start'

Jul 14, 2015

The Oregon Legislature made its largest-ever investment for earthquake improvements this past session, but experts say the state still has a long way to go.

Amidst further downsizing confirmed by the U.S. Army Thursday, the Washington National Guard got good news. The Guard’s 81st Armored Brigade announced it will shed its heavy tanks and armor to convert into a more nimble Stryker configuration.

Any parent of a rambunctious youngster can tell you trouble might be afoot when things go quiet in the playroom. Two independent research initiatives indicate there is a comparable situation with the Cascadia earthquake fault zone.

Comic Book Aims For Earthquake Preparedness

Aug 22, 2014
Dark Horse Comics

Emergency managers in Oregon have a new tool to educate the public about earthquake preparedness. It's a comic book co-produced by one of the nation's top comic book publishers.

Horemu / Wikimedia Commons

Research geologists just finished a field trial to test a less invasive way to complete seismic hazard surveys. The federal scientists attempted to map an earthquake fault under Seattle simply by listening for underground echoes from all the noise we humans create at the surface.

New Earthquake Maps Are Out

Jul 17, 2014
usgs

The U.S. Geological Survey published its first updated earthquake maps in six years Thursday. The new maps show higher risks in the Pacific Northwest. The new maps are a synthesis of new research and up-to-date modeling techniques, applied to seismic hazards across the country.

An estimated 1.2 million people in the Northwest took part in an international earthquake drill Thursday.

Tom Kleindinst

A storied research sub that explored and filmed the wreck of the Titanic is making an appearance in the Northwest. The deep-diving submarine "Alvin" is in Astoria Monday,  August 26 through Friday, August 30 while its support ship changes crews. It's actually one of two well-known submersibles passing through the port town.

3.6 Earthquake Felt By Gig Harbor Science Teacher

Aug 20, 2013

An earthquake measuring 3-point-6 was felt on the Key Peninsula this morning. The University of Washington Seismology Lab says the quake happened around 11:40 and was centered some 15 miles west of Tacoma.

Matt Cooper / University of Oregon

This week a research ship is retrieving dozens of seismometers that have spent the last year on the ocean floor off the Northwest coast. Earthquake scientists hope the data they're about to get will shed more light on the structure of the offshore Cascadia fault zone. That plate boundary will be the source of the Big One whenever it rips.

USGS

The earthquake and tsunami threat to the Northwest from the offshore Cascadia fault was in the news in multiple ways Thursday. Canadian researchers have reconstructed a prehistoric record of great earthquakes on that shared fault. It reconfirms that we're due for another Big One. Coincidentally in Oregon, tsunami preparedness is getting a renewed look.

Nilfanion / Wikimedia Commons

The Blue whale is believed to be the largest animal ever to exist. But nobody remembers number two. Fin whales are the second largest animals on the planet, weighing in at around 80 tons. And they’re very mysterious creatures. Now scientists have gained better access to the giant whale’s secret lives – almost accidentally.

NOAA

As Superstorm Sandy barreled down on the East Coast Sunday, there was a massive earthquake off the coast of British Columbia. It didn’t get much attention. But both events were reminders to prepare for the long-term impacts of natural disasters. That’s the message coming out of a regional conference in Portland this week.

Photo Credit: Brian Atwater

Researchers have found fresh evidence of 26-foot-high tsunami waves that washed more than three miles in to the Olympic Peninsula.

Courtney Schrieve

Thursday, Oregon, Washington, and Idaho joined their Western neighbors for an earthquake drill of unprecedented scale. Some of the record participation was due to businesses joining in the drill. In our area, among those practicing were architects, utilities and banks.

Sue White

Numerology and disaster preparedness come together Thursday morning on a big scale. At 10:18 on 10/18, eight Western states along with British Columbia and other places are coordinating on an earthquake and tsunami drill. Nearly a million people are signed up to participate in the Northwest.

Pacific Northwest Seismic Network

Parts of Washington and Oregon are in the midst of silent earthquakes this week. You can't feel this so-called "slow slip" quake and it doesn't cause damage. Still, scientists want to learn more about the recently discovered phenomenon.

Photo by Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

Central Washington was considered at low risk for earthquakes back when big hydropower dams went up on the Columbia River many decades ago. But a recently completed seismic hazard assessment has found greater earthquake potential for the area than previously thought. Now the dam owners have to figure out how to respond. Seismic retrofits could cost ratepayers across the region hundreds of millions of dollars. Correspondent Tom Banse has this exclusive report.

It's a question all of us face sooner or later: whether to spend a good chunk of money to protect against a catastrophe that has a very low chance of occurring. A workshop that just wrapped up in Corvallis considered that dilemma in the context of Northwest dams and a magnitude 9 earthquake. Correspondent Tom Banse reports.

Photo courtesy UW College of Engineering

Two major earthquakes last year raised red flags for the Northwest. Some of the damage from those quakes in Japan and New Zealand resulted from a phenomenon called liquefaction. This is when the ground turns to jello or quicksand. Transmission towers topple, buildings sink and utility pipes break. Now, geologists in the Northwest have mapped the spots most likely to liquefy here in an earthquake. Correspondent Tom Banse begins our story in Japan.

Photo by Shelly Pollock

More than 700 volunteers turned out Thursday to help pick up litter and flotsam on the Oregon and southwest Washington coasts. Volunteers were on alert for debris from last year's tsunami in Japan. There were some possible new finds on Long Beach, Washington. Correspondent Tom Banse reports.

The fifth of July is a traditional beach cleanup day in Manzanita and Seaside, Oregon and on Washington's Long Beach Peninsula. The coordinator of Manzanita's cleanup estimates the three dump truck loads hauled away were "99 percent fireworks" related.

Photo Credit: USGS / Northwest News Network

Geologists have discovered two previously unknown earthquake faults, and possibly a third, near Bellingham, Wash. The scientists working for the U.S. Geological Survey believe the shallow faults are capable of spawning damaging tremors.

Photo credit: Tim Melbourne, CWU / Northwest News Network

A prototype, earthquake early warning system, worked as designed when an actual quake gently shook California last Friday. Researchers reported the results Tuesday at the annual meeting of American seismologists.

Last year, a private foundation in collaboration with the U.S. Geological Survey gave a multimillion dollar grant to create an automated earthquake warning system for the Pacific Coast states. The idea is to provide advance notice to prepare people for severe shaking. It could come via a cell phone alert or a pop-up on your computer or TV screen.

Photo credit: Chris Noland / Northwest News Network

An Everett, Washington, man is excited for the U.S. premiere Friday of his documentary about last year’s devastating earthquake, tsunami and nuclear meltdown in Japan. The first-hand account will also get its Canadian premiere in Vancouver, B.C., Saturday night, almost precisely one year after the disaster. Correspondent Anna King has his story.

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