What Does the Washington Earthquake Mean?


By Gordon McCraw, Tillamook County Emergency Manager
USGS reported, along with many residents, that a 4.6 quake shook the area around Monroe, WA, near Seattle, early this morning, July 12th. So, what does this mean? It means, there are several faults that run though that area that cause them hundreds of quakes each year, many so small they are not felt. The Seattle Fault runs west to east just south of the Seattle area while the South Whidbey Island Fault runs northwestward along the southern part of Whidbey Island. But, don’t be fooled by all these small ones, this is the area of the Nisqually 6.8 quake on 2001, and just as they saw in California recently, this recent one could be the foreshock of a larger one yet to come. The only other quake zone that threatens them, and us, and many others, is the Cascadia Subduction Zone quake.
The bigger question, what does this mean for us? Iit means if you do not yet have a disaster plan, now is a good time to develop one. Ready.gov is a great resource to help you build one. It also offers ideas on how to develop your communications plan, you know, how will you communicate with family and friends, so, if you are in the disaster area and the phones are no longer working, what is the plan. It also offers ideas on Disaster Kits if you have not taken care of that also.

Did you know there is a Nationwide Earthquake Exercise each year that millions of people worldwide participant in? This is a Drop, Cover, and Hold On event called the Great Shakeout Earthquake Drill. This is an opportunity for YOU to practice being safer during the “Big One”! To get more information and to register, which is free, go to shakeout.org/Oregon. Last year Oregon had over 660,000 folks register for this event. This year’s event is scheduled for October 17th at 10:17am. Yep, easy to remember, 10/17 at 10:17.
Are you in the Tsunami Inundation Zone? Need a new Tsunami Evacuation Brochure? Want the address for the new Tsunami Evacuation map APP for your cellphone? All this and more can be found at oregontsunami.org