Seattle’s Pioneer Square district after Feb. 28, 2001 quake.
Photo credit: Elaine Thompson AP file, 2001
– “Nearly 6,000 emergency, military personnel to conduct PNW megaquake exercise”
“Called ‘Cascadia Rising,’ the exercise will be the biggest ever conducted in the Pacific Northwest. Which is fitting, because a rupture on the offshore fault called the Cascadia Subduction Zone could be the biggest natural disaster in U.S. history.
‘It’s really going to require the entire nation to respond to an event like this,’ said Kenneth Murphy, regional director for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which is coordinating the exercise,” quoting The Seattle Times.
– “Earthquake warning system for West Coast gets lift in Obama budget”
“In the past 150 years, Washington has experienced 15 major earthquakes, and scientists say it is just a matter of time before the next one strikes.
To get ready, President Barack Obama’s budget proposal includes $8 million to help bring an early earthquake warning system online.
It is an idea that has strong backing from many members of the state congressional delegation, who argue that people would be much safer if they could download a mobile app on their smartphones and get a warning before the shaking begins.”
“The Obama administration is advancing the plan, hosting the first-ever White House summit on earthquake resilience last week [Feb. 2, 2016] and highlighting the plan again this week in the president’s budget for 2017.
While the warning system has been in the works since 2005, the heightened concern comes after The New Yorker magazine attracted national attention in July by publishing a story titled “The Really Big One.”
The story quoted a Federal Emergency Management Agency director who said the government’s assumption was “everything west of Interstate 5 will be toast” if a large earthquake and tsunami hit the Pacific Northwest in a worst-case scenario,” quoting Rob Hotakainen, McClatchey Newspapers.
– Eatonville-based Internet Journalist Bruce Smith noted Pierce Co. earthquake preparedness
“There [was] a public meeting to discuss earthquake preparedness … Thursday, March 17, at the Graham Library at 6:30 pm. It is free, and is hosted by the Pierce County Department of Emergency Management. The topic will be preparing for a 9.0 earthquake, which is estimated to be 2,000 times more powerful than the 7.2 Nisqually quake about ten years ago.
Apparently, several governmental agencies are having a regional, mega-disaster drill in June, mobilizing up to 4,000 employees in simulations, and these public meetings are a prelude. Besides the gathering in Graham, there are several more scheduled throughout the county this month.”