Are we overdue for a 9.0 earthquake?

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    Dan Packard

    Many officials think so. This is the New Yorker story that has everyone wound up.


    Dan, I have been following the reaction to this article during the past week. Most will say, while well-written, it is a bit over the top.

    Her predicted “demise” of the region is exaggerated, IMO. Mainly because this quake will happen off the coast, so the damage inland, where most of the population lives should be lessened. However, I make no such claims for the coast. That could be a real disaster.

    But to answer your question, yes we are in the window for this quake. 250-500 years is what I keep hearing, and even that is open to strength and severity measures that we can’t be sure of. But the fact remains we are now more than 65 years into that window, with scientific proof that the last one occured in 1700 when hardly anyone lived in these parts, and the death toll would not have even been counted.

    Deane Johnson

    I read where the Hayward fault in the SF Bay area is eminent for the big one.


    Whether it be the Hayward fault, or the San Andreas (over the top movie, btw), or even the Seattle fault, nobody can really predict where the next one will be. However, we can predict that a major quake will occur, and it is likely somewhere along the west coast. (But, the New Madrid fault is still active as well, and doesn’t get much attention, this is the mid-Mississippi region near Memphis and could cripple cities like St. Louis). The hazards, whether quake or other natural disasters are everywhere. You can’t really run away from them.


    And Mt Ranier and Mt Hood will erupt at some point too.

    Worrying about natural disasters that big and rare is a waste of time.

    However, I do have earthquake insurance on both homes.


    Dr. Scott Burns is Geology Professor at Portland State University. He’s an expert on such matters. When a geological event happens locally, the media turns to him regularly for clarification and explanation.

    This video is 23 minutes of a much larger video that Dr. Burns talks extensively about THE BIG ONE. The video is from 2011, just months after the earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

    Dr. Burns, is an expert of Oregon’s fault lines and geological makeup. The video presentation is not visually aesthetic, but the information is invaluable.


    This topic has also caught fire on the EAS remailers.

    This is a good reminder, from a broadcasting perspective, of the need to be prepared to disseminate emergency information when none of the normal systems are functioning.

    Good to know that the Broadcast Engineer community is aware and fully engaged with the regional emergency management departments to plan for such events.


    Make sure you tweet about that!


    re: Earthquake

    Make sure you don’t confuse THE BIG ONE (the offshore fault) with The Big One (the faults in California and also the ones under this state and Washington).

    About a 15% chance of THE BIG ONE in the next 20 years while The Big One has a 50% chance.


    My mom lived through an earthquake of similar magnitude in 1960. She was not hurt, but she had many graphic stories about how the city she lived in was destroyed and the aftermath of the quake, as people panicked and looted. The earthquake was this one:

    Here are some photos of a city about 75 miles away from where my mom lived. The destruction shown in the photos matches the stories that my mom used to tell:

    The earthquake resulted in some powerful tsunamis. Here was the scene in Hawaii:

    Here was the scene in Japan:

    When THE BIG ONE (see disambiguation in previous post) hits, people in Hawaii, Japan, and the Philippines should definitely be worried about the tsunamis.

    Dan Packard

    Leo Laporte interviews seismologist Julian Lozos who quashes the earthquake hysteria generated by the New Yorker article. It’s in the July 25, episode 12 of “The New Screensavers”, about 43 minutes in.

    For those with radio interests, check out the beginning of the video (podcast) while Leo stands in front of a vintage Gates mixing board and RCA tube transmitter on his set.


    I went through the 9.2 quake in AK in March 1967. It did not wipe Seward off the map, but did a lot of damage. The experts claim the one in 1700 off the Pacific coast wiped out most everything to the Coast Range, but we do not know how strong it really was. I live about a mile from the Pacific and I don’t worry about it. There is more likelihood of getting hit by a car. Yes, I have also heard the 300-500 years. We are at 315 years now. But again, I don’t lose any sleep over it.

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