It was around a few months back that Michael Snyder, publisher of 'End of the American Dream', warned the public about a possible earthquake that could jolt the San Andreas fault. Snyder claimed that the San Andreas fault appears to be locked and loaded, and he claimed that the recent surge in seismic activities could be indicating a major one on the way. Now, a set of simulations that predicted the outcome of a hypothetical earthquake off the coast of Washington have suggested why it is important to quickly head to higher ground.
The Outcome of 9M Earthquake
The simulations released by the Washington Department of Natural Resources show how a powerful tsunami would overwhelm the state's coastal and shoreline communities if a powerful earthquake measuring 9 in the Richter scale hits along the Cascadia subduction zone.
"There is no earthquake season. It could happen today, it could happen tomorrow or 50 years from now," Corina Allen, the chief hazards geologist at the Department of Natural Resources told Q13FOX.
The simulations indicated that there are some locations in the state where people will not get sufficient time to escape from the floodwaters. According to the simulation, the initial tsunami wave could hit the outer coast of the state within 15 to 20 minutes after the earthquake.
"We recommend people plan their evacuation routes and know where high ground is and how to get there, but also if you don't have a vertical evacuation structure, some of the only options is getting to a roof or tallest structure nearby and hoping that building can survive the earthquake and tsunami," added Allen.
Highly Populated Areas Could be Affected
The simulations showed that the impacts of earthquakes and subsequent tsunami will hit the coastal areas in less than 30 minutes. Tsunami waves could reach highly populated areas like Seattle in two hours and 20 minutes. Tacoma could see the impact in two hours and 40 minutes, while the waves will reach Olympia in four hours.
Apart from dealing with the approaching tsunami, authorities will also be dealing with any damage from the earthquake that includes impacts on buildings and infrastructure damages.