Tsunamis

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.

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.

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.”

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.

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.

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.

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).

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.

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.

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. 

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.

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. 

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.

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.

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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