Report: Earthquake Triggered Tsunami Would Hit Seattle Within Minutes

SEATTLE (AP) — A study published by the Washington State Department of Natural Resources this week shows that a tsunami triggered by a major earthquake beneath Puget Sound would arrive sooner at Seattle’s shores and reach farther inland than previously expected. thought so before.

Models showed that a tsunami following a magnitude 7.5 quake would flood Seattle’s coastline in more than 20 feet (6.1 meters) of water and reach parts of Bainbridge Island, Elliott Bay and Alki Point in Three Minutes, The Seattle Times reported.

Waves could reach 12.8 meters (42 feet) in downtown Seattle Great Wheel and reach Lumen Field and T-Mobile Park.

“Three to five minutes is all that separates a seismic event from the arrival of tsunami waves,” Public Lands Commissioner Hilary Franz said Thursday at a news conference on Seattle’s waterfront. . “That’s why we’re conducting this research now so that everyone is aware of this, so that our local government is aware of this, and we can start preparing and planning and taking all the necessary precautions.”

The new study used more recent topography and elevation data, covering a larger area, than previous studies of the Seattle, Tacoma and Everett areas published in 2003, 2009 and 2014.

While Tacoma is expected to see less water flooding than in previous studies, the new report indicates that the waves could travel farther inland.

North of Deception Pass, the waves get smaller, up to a projected average height of 5 feet (1.5 meters).

Franz urged residents to learn more about the risks in their area, sign up for earthquake and tsunami warnings, and prepare an emergency kit with at least two weeks’ worth of water, food and water. other necessities – and to do it all now.

In the study, researchers from the department’s Washington Geological Survey Division used projections modeled after the last major earthquake beneath the Seattle Fault – a magnitude of 7.5 about 11,000 years ago – to estimate the height, time of arrival, and inland range of a subsequent tsunami if, or when, the disaster repeats itself.

Research shows the fault has triggered smaller earthquakes, mostly around magnitude 6.5, five times in the past 3,500 years.

The earthquake that occurred 11,000 years ago was probably the largest in the last 16,000 years.

Although future earthquakes are likely to be smaller than what was modeled, the projections were still “shocking”, said Alex Dolcimascolo of the Geological Survey Division, author of the report. “We really wanted to emphasize that scenario so people could prepare.”

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