Cascadia Rising: The biggest megaquake exercise to prepare the imminent Cascadia megaquake and tsunami

Cascadia Rising will be the biggest seismic exercise ever conducted in the Pacific Northwest.

Nearly 6,000 emergency and military personnel will undergo a four-day exercise to test response to a Cascadia megaquake and tsunami.

This is fitting, because a rupture on the offshore fault called the Cascadia Subduction Zone could be the biggest natural disaster in U.S. history.

Cascadia Rising, Cascadia Rising june 2016, Cascadia Rising response exercice, Cascadia Rising 2016 exercise, cascadia tsunami, cascadia earthquake, On January 26, 1700, the last megathrust earthquake, a M9 earthquake, hit the Cascadia subduction zone. The resulting tsunami reached the coasts of Japan
On January 26, 1700, the last megathrust earthquake, a M9 earthquake, hit the Cascadia subduction zone. The resulting tsunami reached the coasts of Japan. Photo: OceanWorks.ca

Cascadia Rising is the largest seismic exercise ever done to test response to a Cascadia megaquake and tsunami. It will take place from June 7 to June 10, 2016.

A Cascadia megaquake is likely to hit magnitude 9 and will affect the entire West Coast from British Columbia to Northern California, including Seattle, Portland, Tacoma and Vancouver, B.C.

The quake will be closely followed by tsunamis 30 feet high — or bigger — that will slam into oceanfront communities.

This movie shows a physics-based computer simulation of the tsunami expected from the next Cascadia Earthquake:

The damage and casualty estimates in FEMA’s quake scenario are sobering:

  • More than 10,000 fatalities, mostly due to the tsunami
  • 30,000 injuries
  • 7,000 highway bridges and 16,000 miles of highway with high to moderate levels of damage
  • 90 percent of port facilities destroyed or damaged
  • Natural-gas and refined-fuel pipelines out of service
  • 70 percent of electrical power systems damaged
  • Serious damage to water-treatment and sewage plants

Are you ready for “the big one”? How prepared are you for a Cascadia earthquake?

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