The KOMO TV show about Cascadia megaquakes and tsunamis is online

Thanks to Michael Machette for passing this along:
If you missed KOMO’s “Problem Solvers: What If?”, a look at geologic hazards in western Washington, you can view it at http://www.komonews.com/news/problemsolvers/119200974.html .
Michael Machette
Quimper Geo Group
Port Townsend Marine Science Center
Port Townsend, WA
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3 Responses

  1. I saw the program and thought that overall it was pretty good. A couple of inaccuracies were: 1) referring to a tsunami as a 100 foot wave, with a animated image in the background giving one that impression, is misleading. It is not uncommon for tsunamis to reach a point 100 above previous sea level, but that is due to the huge amount of momentum the water has. 100 feet of maximum reach of the wave surge is not the same as a 100- foot-high plunging breaker. 2) One of the narrators stated that “the water retreats when the wave first reaches land.” Although this is true sometimes because the trough of the first wave in the series reaches shore first, many times the water initially rises because the first crest arrives. However, too many lives have been lost (Hawaii, 1946 and Sumatra and Thailand, 2004, to give two examples) because when the trough arrives first, people wander out to to the now-bare seafloor in wonderment. They SHOULD be rushing to higher ground! All in all, I thought the program was good, especially because it raises awareness among the public. The part urging people to assemble an effective and complete 72 hour kit is vital.

  2. I live in University Place WA 98466. I think I am in the Tsunami zone. Are there any good maps for me to look at to see if my home is in it? Are there any known evacuation routes. How high are the waves anticipated to be?

    • Krista,
      First thing I’d want to know is the elevation of your house. The link to the program I posted is no longer active. What tsunami hazard zone map or study did you examine in order to determine you live in it? There is a preliminary model for an earthquake on the Seattle fault here: http://nctr.pmel.noaa.gov/pugetsound/pre2/#fig3 which shows waves of less than 2 meters at Tacoma.
      As to evacuation routes, that is pretty straightforward. #1 you would have warning because of ground shaking, and #2 “go uphill”. You can figure our for yourself what routes you would take to do this. Whether walking up the street, or driving for several blocks up hill. You know your neighborhood much better than I or a researcher, and can likely figure this out. 100 feet above sea level outght to be plenty high. The question you should be considering is, what will you do after, if your home is damaged because you live close to sea level? Dave

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