Is America ready for a TSUNAMI? Scientists reveal plans to deal with killer waves across the Pacific Northwest

Friday, April 22, 2016
By Paul Martin

A massive tsunami event like is said to occur every 400-600 years, and is now overdue in the region
Now states such as California, Oregon, Washington and Alaska are attempting to combat the threat
Scientists are detailing plans on how to combat threat at Seismological Society of America meeting
New technologies such as camera-bearing drones could send video messages of incoming waves
Scientists are looking at where and when tsunamis occurred in past, to better understand how they form

21 April 2016

The threat a massive tsunami hitting the Pacific Northwest has concerned scientists for years.

Experts say an event of this kind occurs roughly every 400-600 years, and the area is overdue a similar quake that could leave thousands dead or displaced.

Now states such as California, Oregon, Washington and Alaska are looking to both the past and the future to prepare for a tsunami on the US Pacific coastline.

Plans for managing tsunami risk on the West Coast are still evolving, according scientists speaking at the Seismological Society of America’s (SSA) 2016 Annual Meeting, held April 20-22 in Reno, Nevada.

Meanwhile, geologists are searching for evidence of past tsunamis in the region to help them refine their estimates of tsunami risk.

There is, for instance, the evidence for frequent and large earthquakes and tsunamis occurring within the past 2,000 years in parts of the Eastern Aleutian Islands.

There are signs that these earthquakes have spanned the boundary between the locked and creeping portions of the region’s megathrust fault.

Earthquakes in the area could cause significant tsunami effects across the Pacific, especially in Hawaii and California.
‘Despite the fact that we have learned a significant amount about the earthquake sources for tsunamis, there are gaps in our understanding of past tsunamis, especially prehistoric tsunamis,’ says Rick Wilson, a senior engineering geologist with the California Geological Survey.

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