Tsunamis

earthquake preparedness
5:01 am
Wed October 16, 2013

Statewide Earthquake Drill Planned for 10:17 on Oct. 17

File image
Damian Dovarganes AP Photo

State officials are hoping people across Washington will drop to the floor and take cover on Thursday morning. It’s part of a massive earthquake drill that organizers say has attracted more than 800,000 people so far.

Go to the website for the Great Washington ShakeOut, and you’re met with video showing a major earthquake violently shaking the ground. The video, and the website it's on, are a project of the Washington state Department of Emergency Management.

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tsunami preparation
2:16 pm
Mon October 22, 2012

Quileutes celebrate move out of tsunami zone

Legislation signed by President Obama in February gives the tribe 785 acres in the Olympic National Park so the tribe can move.
Carolyn Coles Flickr

LAPUSH, Wash. – The Quileute Tribe will hold a potlatch with drumming, dancing and a salmon bake Thursday in LaPush to celebrate the tribe's move to higher ground.

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Tsunami debris
12:53 pm
Thu November 3, 2011

Debris from Japanese tsunami a threat to NW jobs, Cantwell says

Model of the debris from the Japanese tsunami reaching the NW coastline.
University of Hawaii

Calling it an “emerging threat,” Sen. Maria Cantwell testified in congress yesterday that a floating debris field five-times the size of the state of Washington is heading for the West Coast and could disrupt the state’s economy when it lands in 2014.

“After the tragic tsunami that struck Japan, whole communities were swept out to sea in an unwieldy mass of toxic debris,” she testified in the Senate Commerce Committee. “We can’t wait until all of this tsunami trash washes ashore. We need to have an aggressive plan on how we’re going to deal with it.”

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Tsunami debris
2:59 pm
Fri October 21, 2011

Japanese tsunami debris tracked, drifting very slowly our way

SEATTLE – The Japanese tsunami back in March washed millions of tons of debris out to sea, and winds and currents are pushing it very slowly across the Pacific Ocean.

Scientists tracking the flotsam have new evidence that it does not pose a radiological threat despite the Japanese nuclear disaster that followed the tsunami.

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Quileute Indian Reservation
10:19 am
Fri September 16, 2011

Tribe renews plea for land to move kids out of tsunami zone

All of La Push’s lower village is in the tsunami inundation zone.
Tom Banse Northwest News Network

An Indian tribe on the Washington Coast on Thursday renewed its plea to Congress to expand its tiny reservation onto higher ground. Quileute tribal leaders previously traveled to the nation's capital after the devastating Japanese tsunami in March.

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Emergency Preparedness
12:05 pm
Fri June 3, 2011

Towers planned on Washington coast as tsunami safe havens

Twenty-nine towers, parking structures and elevated berms may be built on the Washington coast as emergency sites where people could ride out a tsunami.

The "vertical elevation" sites would be able to withstand a 30-foot wave and would be available to residents and tourists with a 30-minute warning.

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Japan Earthquake
12:37 pm
Fri May 13, 2011

NW Zen Community to hold public memorial to Japan disaster victims

A Japanese soldier holds a stretcher as his fellow military members search for victims in the earthquake and tsunami ravaged city of Kesennuma, Japan March 27. The NW Zen Community is holding a memorial to the victims at Seattle University on Sunday.
David Guttenfelder AP

The public is invited to a special memorial service for the victims of the earthquake and tsunami that devastated much of northeastern Japan in March.

The service is being held by the Northwest Zen Community at St. Ignatius Chapel on the Seattle University campus at 1:30 p.m. this Sunday (May 15).

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Natural Disasters
6:25 am
Fri April 15, 2011

'Twilight' tribe seeks help to move out of tsunami zone

All of La Push’s lower village is in the tsunami inundation zone.
Tom Banse Northwest News Network

After last month's Japanese tsunami, some coastal Northwest Indian tribes are expressing new urgency about the same danger they face. Two Washington tribes actually have plans to move parts of their villages to higher ground.

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Japan Quake & Tsunami
3:19 pm
Wed March 16, 2011

Despite scary headlines, local radiation danger is negligible

Pharmacist Donna Barsky measures potassium iodide for a prescription at the Texas Star Pharmacy on Tuesday, March 15, 2011 in Plano, Texas. The pharmacy has been receiving an unusually high number of calls about KI since the Japan quake.
AP Photo

From Chehalis to Chicago, local health food stores are seeing their stock of potassium iodide pills sell out, as public fear over radiation fallout from Japan's damaged nuclear plants continues.

The trouble is the fear doesn't match the risk, say numerous scientists and government officials, both here and across the nation, according to The News Tribune and other reports.

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earthquake
1:23 pm
Tue March 15, 2011

Japan’s quake, tsunami and what it teaches the Northwest

A tsunami wave carries cars, houses and other debris across farmlands in northeast Japan, Friday, March 11, 2011.
NHK via YouTube

You may have heard Washington has an earthquake fault similar to the one that devastated Japan.  While there are many fault-lines criss-crossing western Washington, the only one that bears a strong similarity is under the ocean, parallel to our coast-line.  It’s called the Cascadia subduction zone. 

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Japan Quake
8:11 am
Tue March 15, 2011

Tsunami-hit Oregon county looks for aid

A boat damaged by the tsunami at Brookings Harbor
Sergeant Scott Punch Oregon State Police

A southern Oregon county battered by last Friday's tsunami is turning to the state and federal government for assistance. High waves caused heavy damage the harbor in Brookings. One local official hand-delivered a request for assistance to the state capitol.

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Science
3:45 pm
Fri March 11, 2011

Japan tsunami illustrates risks facing Pacific Northwest coast

UW Brian Atwater (center) points out evidence of the 1700 Cascadia earthquake and tsunami to field-trip participants during a canoe trip along the Niawiakum River.
Brian Atwater University of Washington

The same type of tectonic earthquake that hit Japan - involving the collision of plates that make up the Earth's crust - could happen in the Northwest.  Similar faults lie in the Cascadia subduction zone. 

The head of the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network at the University of Washington, John Vidale, told The Seattle Times' Sandi Doughton the Cascadia fault last ruptured in 1700.  Scientists believe it generated at magnitude 9 earthquake and a tsunami that may have been bigger than the one that battered Japan. 

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Japan Quake
2:00 pm
Fri March 11, 2011

Tsunami waves not visible to the eye on coast

Tidal gauges detected a tsunami wave along the Washington and Oregon coasts Friday morning. But the swell, up to 1.5 feet, went unnoticed by coastal residents who chose not to evacuate.

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Japan Quake Aftermath
10:45 am
Fri March 11, 2011

Threat from tsunami waves lessens; people asked to stay off coast beaches

Waves common for a stormy springtime day crash into the beach Friday, March 11, 2011 in Moclips, Wash. A Tsunami caused by the Thursday earthquake in Japan reached the west coast of the United States early Friday, though its impact was minimal.
Ted S. Warren AP

Updated at 10:32 a.m.

The first wave of the tsunami to hit the Washington Coast measured 1.6 feet at La Push and about half a foot at Neah Bay and Port Angeles, according to the National Weather Service.

Tsunami Adisory Remains in Effect

Science and Operations officer Kirby Cook says the tsunami advisory is still in effect for the Washington Coast and more waves could be on the way. Cook says more waves are landing in California and that means Washington and Oregon can expect more as well.

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Japan Quake
8:33 am
Fri March 11, 2011

Tsunami waves washing in along Northwest coast; limited evacuations in Grays Harbor, Pacific counties

A tsunami evacuation sign in Grays Harbor County, on Washington's coast. There have been limited evacuations, as a surge of 4 feet is expected this morning.
AP

The National Weather Service reports the tsunami generated by the 8.9 earthquake that hit Japan on Friday is now coming ashore on the Washington and Oregon coastline.

Meteorologist Johnny Berg says the tsunami advisory is still in effect and waves are coming in, but he says he doesn't have details to offer about how high those waves are.

An AP photographer reports vigorous wave activity on the coast near Moclips, on the central coast, similar to any stormy day on the ocean beaches.

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