Ever wonder what would happen if an earthquake caused a tsunami to hit Seattle?
If you live in Seattle, the thought has most likely crossed your mind at least once. A new study that was released this week tells us how to be prepared in case of a magnitude 7.5 earthquake on the Seattle Fault. According to the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR), an earthquake of that magnitude could very well trigger a tsunami. In that scenario, tsunami waves would reach Seattle in as little as three minutes. Although it’s impossible to say whether such an emergency would occur in our lifetime, it’s always good to be prepared.
Read on for all the important information from the study.
According to the DNR, tsunamis have occurred in Washington state in the past and could happen again at any time. The new study focused on the impact an earthquake-triggered tsunami would have on the area surrounding the Seattle Fault. It found that tsunami waves would reach Seattle in several areas—specifically on the eastern side of Bainbridge Island, Elliott Bay, and Alki Point—in fewer than three minutes. The shoreline along the greater Seattle area would see flooding exceed a height of 20 feet. Tsunami waves would reach Seattle repeatedly along with strong currents for hours after the initial earthquake. In the end, a new shoreline may be created in the areas close to the Seattle Fault.
If this information has you running for the hills (literally), that’s understandable. No matter how remote the possibility of this happening in the next 100 years, it can still be scary to think about. The best thing anyone can do to assuage their fears and be prepared is to know what to do in case of a tsunami in Seattle. The DNR instructs that if you feel the shaking of an earthquake, the first thing to do is drop, get under cover, and hold on. Then, as soon as it is safe enough to do so, hurry inland to find high ground as fast as possible.
To read more about the study, visit the DNR website.