Scientists say no need to panic over Seattle earthquake

Jul 14, 2015, 2:29 PM | Updated: Jul 15, 2015, 10:27 am
Hold on to your water heaters, because when the big one hits, it’s going to cause some destru...
Hold on to your water heaters, because when the big one hits, it's going to cause some destruction and at least minor inconvenience. (AP)
(AP)

Hold on to your water heaters because when the big one hits, it’s going to cause some destruction and at least minor inconvenience.

The latest earthquakes recorded in the Pacific Northwest

When a high-magnitude earthquake hits the Pacific Northwest, scientists say it’s not going to be as devastating as an article in The New Yorker makes it seem.

The idea that “everything west of Interstate 5 will be toast” is exaggerated, University of Washington Seismologist Bill Steele told KIRO Radio.

“As far as the damage, it is a bit of an exaggeration,” he said. “It implies everything will be badly destroyed.”

There will be some pockets of “severe damage” when a magnitude 8.7-plus earthquake rocks the West Coast. But when the Cascadia subduction zone unleashes its wrath upon us Washingtonians, it’s probably not going to kill the 13,000 people The New Yorker reports.

“It’s going to be tough going for a while, if people aren’t ready to survive on their own for at least a week,” Steele said.

The basic science in The New Yorker article is on point, according to Steele. However, the tone is much darker than it needs to be, he said. The article errs on the side of fear, with the most severe and broad damage that could happen during a major earthquake.

The article states about 140,000 square miles and 7 million people will be in harm’s way.

Steele told KIRO Radio the chance of a magnitude 9 quake is 15 percent in the next 50 years.

Just because a massive earthquake might not be as likely or as devastating, doesn’t mean people shouldn’t be prepared. University of Washington Seismologist John Vidale said it’s important to have a family plan in place in case of such an emergency and to have a ration of supplies.

In addition to strapping down your water heater and building a food and water supply, Vidale recommends checking out an emergency management website and taking small steps to begin your preparation. The Washington National Guard has preparedness tips for riding out the Big One.

Local News

Jaime Herrera Beutler...
Nick Bowman

Washington Rep. Herrera Beutler breaks from GOP party line again over Bannon contempt vote

Washington Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler was among nine Republicans who voted in favor of holding Steve Bannon in contempt on Thursday.
11 hours ago
bellevue...
MyNorthwest Staff

Explosions heard during fire in Bellevue

Several people in Bellevue reported hearing explosions in the area of a large fire Thursday night.
1 day ago
Tacoma shooting...
MyNorthwest Staff

Police search for suspects in Tacoma shooting that left four people dead

Tacoma police say two women and two men were killed in a shooting Thursday.
1 day ago
bike...
Kathryn Altena

King County Board of Health delays vote to repeal bike helmet law

After a public hearing on a proposed repeal of King County's bike helmet law, the county board of health decided to delay their vote.
1 day ago
jim walsh, washington lawmaker...
Heather Bosch

Washington lawmaker is locked out of capitol over COVID vaccine mandate

A Washington state lawmaker says he's been locked out of the state capitol in Olympia over the COVID vaccine mandate.
1 day ago
Sammamish...
MyNorthwest Staff

Sammamish scores top spot on list of best small US cities to live in

A new list has crowned Sammamish, Washington, the nation's best small city to live in, marking the latest in a string of recent accolades.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Medicare open enrollment for 2022 starts Oct. 15 and SHIBA can help!

Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner SPONSORED — Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period, also called the Annual Election Period, is Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. During this time, people enrolled in Medicare can: Switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan and vice versa. Join, drop or switch a Part D prescription drug plan, […]
...

How to Have a Stress-Free Real Estate Experience

The real estate industry has adapted and sellers are taking full advantage of new real estate models. One of which is Every Door Real Estate.
...
IQ Air

How Poor Air Quality Is Affecting Our Future Athletes

You cannot control your child’s breathing environment 100% of the time, but you can make a huge impact.
...
Swedish Health Services

Special Coverage: National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

There are a wide variety of treatment options available for men with prostate cancer. The most technologically advanced treatment option in the Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform.
...
Marysville Police Department

Police Opportunities in a Growing, Supportive Washington Community

Marysville PD is looking for both lateral and entry level officers. Begin or continue your career in law enforcement for a growing, supportive community.
...
Comcast

Small, Minority-Owned Businesses in King County and Pierce County Can Now Apply For $10,000 Relief Grants Through Comcast RISE

Businesses in King County and Pierce County can apply beginning on October 1, 2021, at www.ComcastRISE.com for a chance to receive a $10,000 relief grant.
Scientists say no need to panic over Seattle earthquake