Seattle’s Earthquake Potential: Bad News and Good News

The bad news is that Seattle may have a massive magnitude 9 megathrust earthquake to look forward to some time in the next few hundred years.  As awesome as the term “megathrust” is, I get the impression from reading this story that it’s a bad thing:

The fault along the central Washington coast, where the Pacific and Juan de Fuca plates are locked together most of the time but break apart from each other during a powerful megathrust earthquake, was believed to lie 80 miles or more from the Seattle area. But research has shown that the locked zone extends deeper and farther east than previously thought, bringing the edge of the rupture zone beneath the Olympic Mountains, perhaps 40 miles closer to the Seattle area. It is this locked area that can rupture to produce a megathrust earthquake that causes widespread heavy damage, comparable to the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake or the great Alaska quake of 1964.

The good news is that two of the three people who post on this site don’t live in Seattle.

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