The Cascadia Fault, as it is called, is just off the Pacific Coast and is capable of generating a quake of 8.7 to 9.2 in magnitude and devastate much of America — and the region is largely unprepared for such a catastrophe, according to seismologists. By comparison, Japan’s largest earthquake in 2011 was 9.0.
The Cascadia Fault was featured in a 2013 Off The Grid News story and has received new attention in recent days following a feature in The New Yorker.
A major eruption along it would, the publication said, be the “worst natural disaster in the history of the continent.” Going by history, the region is due for another quake.
“Our operating assumption is that everything west of Interstate 5 will be toast,” Kenneth Murphy, the director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in the region, told The New Yorker. That area includes the cities of Portland, Tacoma, Eugene, Olympia, Seattle, Vancouver, Washington and Vancouver, British Columbia. The Seattle metro area is America’s fastest growing city, with a population of 3.6 million.