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Can a Japan-like Tsunami Hit the West Coast?

Updated on March 20, 2011

We have seen it in movies, LA or SF, suffers a massive 8.0-9.0 quake, then, the massive tsunami. Coastal residents peer out on the ocean in awe, the ocean recedes from the shoreline unlike anything seen before-its weird. Bays, suddenly are empty stranding ships and boats. Then the ocean  swells into a satanic force and smashes into the coastal areas.

Can it really happen?

It is long overdue. The last  Cascadian quake was 311 years ago and science notes the time between them are growing shorter and shorter. It could happen any second, last for minutes, ruin life for decades. Much of coastal California and the rest of the West Coast sits in the Cascadian quake zone. It is a seismic zone that stretches from Cape Mendocino in California to British Columbia. While a Japan-like tsunami could occur in the LA area, odds are much greater it would happen in the Cascadian zone. It would cause the same sort of impact to cities like SF, Crescent City, Eurkea, Coos Bay, Portland, Seattle and Vancouver. Having a 9.0 quake in this zone increases with every year. Such a tsunami would flood and destroy many of the above within minutes. Imagine Seattle partially underwater!  Or, the Golden Gate, disappearing from the tsunami force.

The West coast IS on borrowed time according to seismic experts. Are we ready?


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    • andrebreynolds profile image


      7 years ago

      Maybe it would happen.

    • Pollyannalana profile image


      7 years ago from US

      Well I tell you I have said and I mean it takes a brave person to enter California, I will take my chances with tornadoes or hurricanes any day over an earthquake. Where do this people disappear to and if they aren't killed immediately...well, no way will I be in that state ever, anywhere.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I'm sure we are due but like you I'm also safe, I live 100 miles from the coast. But I do have relatives that would be effective and that isn't a pleasant feeling or thought.

    • perrya profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago

      For sure. I am 30 miles from the coast, so, I am safe also. But, the cities I noted are in that zone. Japan never thought it would happen either.

    • barbergirl28 profile image

      Stacy Harris 

      7 years ago from Hemet, Ca

      I would have to say no... however, I am safe from the tsunami because I am surrounded by the mountains. Hopefully that gives me one less thing to worry about :)


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