After the overdue Cascadia mega earthquake tsunami, Pacific Northwest residents will only have 10 minutes to evacuate; not 12 hours like after Tonga eruption

Cascadia earthquake washington updated maps
Cascadia subduction zone earthquake will be devastating

Last weekend’s undersea volcanic explosion near Tonga devastated the island nation and sent small tsunami waves to Washington’s ocean coast. Those waves took about 12 hours to reach the state and gave residents plenty of time to prepare if they had been bigger.

Those same residents would have only 10 minutes to evacuate for waves up to 100-feet-high that would hit them following a massive earthquake in the Cascadia subduction zone. Some might not get that much time. Ground sinking below their feet might flood during a magnitude 9 quake.

That’s what computer modeling shows, according to a report released Jan. 10 by the Washington Geological Survey. The report illustrates what would happen to cities, river mouths, beaches and other low-lying areas on the Olympic Peninsula. Previously, the Geological Survey released maps for the southwest Washington coast, San Juan islands and Puget Sound.

The report includes detailed maps from just north of Grays Harbor to Port Townsend. The goal is to prepare both officials charged with community protection as well as to warn the public of potential hazards.


The modeling used for the report assumes the Big One hits in the subduction zone, 80-100 miles off Washington’s coast, where the Juan de Fuca tectonic plate is sliding under the North American plate. The “full rip” event would run along the fault’s entire length from northern California to north of Vancouver Island.

It’s been 322 years since that last happened and only a matter of time before it happens again.

There’s lots of geologic evidence that these quakes and tsunamis have happened many times,” said Corina Allen, chief hazards geologist for the Geologic Survey.

There would be no sleeping through this quake. The strong ground shaking would likely last between three and six minutes and serve as an immediate call to seek higher ground.

The earthquake is your warning,” Allen said. “Get to high ground.

By comparison, the region’s last major temblor, 2001’s Nisqually Quake, lasted about 45 seconds.

It’s during the earthquake itself, Allen said, when coastal Washington will drop in relationship to areas west of the fault. The change in sea level would flood vulnerable areas up to five feet, modeling shows.

It’s happened before, as evidence from the Copalis River ghost forest shows. Trees killed by a saltwater inundation from the 1700 earthquake still stand along the river and helped geologist Brian Atwater prove that the quake was responsible.

In the 1700 quake, a tsunami struck Japan and killed thousands of people. Its source remained a mystery until Atwater made the connection.


Following a mega quake on the Cascadia fault, simulations show that the tiny town of La Push would get hit first by a tsunami, 10 minutes after shaking started.

Those Hollywood depictions of a giant wave rising from the sea are inaccurate, Allen said. Think wall of water instead. And it comes very fast.

In deep water it travels about the speed of a jet plane,” she said. “When it gets close to land it slows down.

Within 30 minutes, many parts of the coast would be hit by waves. Wave heights can vary but they’re predicted to be 30 feet or higher. Most Pacific coast beaches and campgrounds would be under 60 feet of water.

The report said waves of 60 feet or higher could hit the Hoh Indian Reservation, Queets, Taholah on the Quinault Indian Reservation, Moclips, Pacific Beach, Iron Springs, Copalis Beach and Ocean City.

The mouth of the Hoh River could be flooded to a depth of 100 feet.

Within an hour, a 20-foot-high wave would hit Port Angeles. The U.S. Coast Guard Air Station there would be under 15 feet of water a little more than an hour after the quake.

Waves would continue to hit for eight hours and be a hazard for a full day after the quake.

Messaging to coastal residents on Saturday following the volcanic eruption near Tonga that the first wave might not be the biggest holds true for all tsunamis, Allen said. Flood levels can also vary depending on tidal levels.

That holds true in Puget Sound where modeling shows the fourth wave to hit Olympia would likely be the biggest.

We have such a complicated waterway in the Puget Sound,” she said. “As this wave travels through, there’s lots of sloshing going on. (The) wave is bouncing off of our islands and our peninsulas and our inlets.

The speed and depth of tsunami waves make them dangerous, along with potential debris the waves might be pushing.

At inundation depths greater than 6 feet, survival is unlikely for persons out in the open or within or on most conventional structures,” the report said. “Fortunately, survival remains highly likely within or on a reinforced and specially designed building, such as a vertical evacuation structure.

One such structure is currently under construction on the Shoalwater Bay Indian Reservation at Willapa Bay.

For some people caught in the open, climbing to the upper story or roof of a sturdy building could be a last resort. Even climbing a tree is better than being out in the open, the report said.

It’s not just earthquakes that can cause tsunamis, as last weekend showed. Landslides and even a meteor strike could cause one. Tsunami forecasting was made more difficult Saturday due to the lack of modeling using an undersea volcano as a tsunami source.

A volcanic eruption in Tonga was not on my radar as a tsunami event to be thinking about,” Allen said. [ChronLine]

So always be prepared and ready to act! When cellular networks go down & internet access fails, Galileyo will keep you informed, via the global satellite infrastructure, guaranteed.

Now subscribe to this blog to get more amazing news curated just for you right in your inbox on a daily basis (here an example of our new newsletter).

You can also follow us on Facebook and/ or Twitter. And, by the way you can also make a donation through Paypal. Thank you!

You should really subscribe to QFiles. You will get very interesting information about strange events around the world.

qfiles by steve quayle


  1. Every time the Juan De Fuca plate went, so has the San Andreas. so that could be a full unzipping off of the entire West coast. Huge Tidal Wave washing everything west of I5 away. That would be ugly. Lots of death and destruction. Numerous left coast cities destroyed. It will eventually happen, plan accordingly.

  2. If you believe in Jesus Christ and what he has done for you on the cross, you have been saved by grace. God tells us in the Bible that this current world is not our home.
    God sent His Son to die AS our sin, so that we wouldn’t have to die IN our sin. He went to the devils hell for three days, so that we wouldn’t ever have to go. He then raised himself up from the dead three days later,. to show that He would then do so for us when He calls us home. Isn’t that just the most beautiful thing you have ever heard?
    John 3 :16 says “For God so loved the world (You who is reading this), that He gave His ONLY Begotten Son (Jesus), that Whosoever Believes on Him, will not Perish, but will have everlasting life.”
    Please answer His call. He just wants to love you, JUST AS YOU ARE RIGHT NOW- no matter how cowardly,ugly, sad, angry, depressed, betrayed, drunk, murderously hateful you may feel or even be inwardly, or outwardly. No matter what you have done, or will do, or want to do, Christ will save those who are truly repentent. God ONLY is able to search our hearts. He it is ONLY who will determine who is worthy of His gift of Salvation, freely given Through the death of His Son Jesus, as the ONLY Sacrifice acceptable as recompense for our sins. Yes, He gives this gift, yet, we must ACCEPT it. If we do not accept it, we are NOT worthy, and we can not be let in. If we refuse to BELIEVE, well then- the gift was never accepted.
    You may not ever get another chance. Please, Please do not let that be you. When we pass from this life to the next, I want to be able to see everyone this message touches whether or not we have ever met, been friends, enemies, whatever– I do not care. Please be there. Please accept His gift. Time is so short. Just look at what is going on around us. You have to feel in some way that this is all bulding up to some stupendously horrific ending. But it does not have to be horrific for us as long as we have faith that God will keep His eternal promises, which are so wondrously fantastic- this earth pales in comparison. He has a work for ALL to do before our time is up. Please heed His call.
    Only Jesus is The Resurrection, the Way, the Truth, and the Life. He Who Believes in Him, Will never die.
    If you have reached the end of this post and are a believer or undecided please go to learn more about how your life may have just changed compared to what it could have been:

    now the end begins .com/everyone-knows-things-are-not-going-back-flight-777-titus-213-airlines-now-boarding-matrix-red-pill-nteb/ (close the spaces- Dis—qus will NOT let me post the link)

    Welcome to the wildest, craziest, scariest time on earth. I am praying for all of whom this message of Life and Love reaches. I urge you to please go the above site, and after you are finished with the article, please explore the rest of the site. I have to say that I was led to it, because I was. Many, if not all, of your questions about what ‘all of what is happening lately means?’ will be answered.

  3. Oh yeah, any fools know you don’t have hours and hours to evacuate and that they should use some kind of gradation scale correlating to the shore line of the suspected breech.

  4. After watching the Japanese tsunami videos I wonder why in coastal areas that could have a tsunami they don’t just build a very large silo like building that people can go into to ride out the wave. In Japan large buildings did not get washed away. A building designed specifically to withstand a tsunami as a shelter would be even more safe.

Leave a reply

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.