Report of looming West Coast earthquake a ‘hoax’, scientists say

Jan 20, 2016, 8:36 AM | Updated: 1:55 pm
A report states that the Juan de Fuca Plate in the Pacific Ocean slipped beneath the North American...
A report states that the Juan de Fuca Plate in the Pacific Ocean slipped beneath the North American Plate. (AP)
(AP)

Scientists on the West Coast are calling out a report from the East Coast.

Superstation95 reported that “land beneath the ocean has suddenly sunk,” according to data from a buoy. The data alerted of an “event” in the Cascadia Subduction Zone, according to the report.

The report states that the Juan de Fuca Plate in the Pacific Ocean slipped beneath the North American Plate.

“This type of event is usually followed by a massive upward movement of the North American plate causing a very severe earthquake,” Superstation95 reported.

The latest earthquakes recorded in Seattle and the Pacific Northwest

The report from SuperStation95 spread through social media. Any fears may have been compounded by the information in the report which stated the ocean floor plunged 4 feet. The Seattle Times reports that concerned residents called emergency management over the weekend.

But the “event” the buoy captured had nothing to do with an earthquake, Director of the National Tsunami Warning Center Paul Whitmore told the Times. The buoy, which detects tsunamis, sent out an alert that was “triggered by wind-generated waves slightly bigger than normal, the Times reports. It had nothing to do with an earthquake, Whitmore added. The Deep-ocean Assessment and Reporting of Tsunamis network sifts through false alarms every week, Whitmore told the Times.

And if that isn’t enough to calm worries, Humboldt State University marine geologist Jay Patton wrote a blog post, calling the report a “hoax.”

But Superstation95 stands by its reporting. It posted a few rebuttals to stories that have questioned the reporting.

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Report of looming West Coast earthquake a ‘hoax’, scientists say