FEMA Bracing for the Earthquake That Will Decimate the Pacific Northwest
In an attempt to prepare for what’s been called The Really Big One, an earthquake of magnitude 9 or above — which scientists in 2015 determined will, in fact, occur sometime within the next 100 years — in the Cascadia Subduction Zone, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will conduct massive drills beginning June 7.
To test how government agencies, businesses, and residents should respond, or if indeed they are prepared to, FEMA’s Cascadia Rising plans to simulate conditions surrounding the projected magnitude-9 quake and its accompanying ruinously massive tsunami.
“Conducting life-saving and life-sustaining response operations in the aftermath of a Cascadia Subduction Zone disaster will hinge on the effective coordination and integration of governments at all levels — cities, counties, state agencies, federal officials, the military, tribal nations — as well as non-governmental organizations and the private sector,” states the Cascadia Rising flyer, which also mentions various workshops and seminars leading up to the actual exercise. Some 50 counties in Oregon, Washington, and Idaho will participate, with U.S. agencies linking to earthquake preparedness exercises from both British Columbia and the Canadian government.
A separate 122-page manual about the drill states the scenario involves a “9.0 magnitude full-rip earthquake along the 700 mile Cascadia Subduction Zone (CSZ) fault with subsequent tsunamis and aftershocks directly impacting both Washington and Oregon,” though the potential affected zone of the quake predicted by scientists actually extends south to the coast of northern California, and north to the Canadian coastal region.