The Big One is coming to the Pacific Northwest

The Big Ones are About to Hit the West Coast. Get Ready.

Is the Big One about to hit the Pacific Northwest? The West Coast? The answer is yes. The question is ‘When?’

Recent earthquake and volcanic activity in the Pacific Northwest has set off alarm bells. The physics of the planet have now moved to the northern parts of the plate and we are experiencing the inevitable effects of being stuck on the finite space of an expanding ball.

Over the last two weeks, there have been multiple 5.8+ earthquakes off of the Vancouver Coast. Most recently, the earthquakes have shifted further north to the Arctic Ninavut Region of Canada. From the Aleutians to the Arctic to Southern California, earthquakes are on the rise throughout the world and have been increasing year over year. Along with the increase in seismic activity, there has been a radical increase in corresponding volcanic activity as well. Volcanoes in Siberian Kamchatka and in the Alaskan Aleutians are more active than they have ever been. In the Pacific Northwest, Mount St Helens and Mount Hood have rumbled back to life after a long period of dormancy. In short, the northern part of the Ring of Fire is now just as active as the southern part, and all indications are that seismic and volcanic activity is increasing in both strength and frequency with each passing year.

So when will the Big One happen? The answer is ‘soon’. While it may not be next week, it could very well be. The odds of a major earthquake happening on the Cascadia Subduction Zone range from 20% to as high as 33% within 50 years. Think about that: Between tomorrow and fifty years from now, on any given day, a catastrophic earthquake could happen. And when it does, be prepared for the tsunamis and volcanic eruptions that will follow.

ghost forests of WashingtonThe last major earthquake that occurred in the CSZ was 300 years ago. Scientists estimate that there have been 43 major earthquakes over the last 10,000 years, based on core sampling from the ocean floor. That means a major earthquake has occurred roughly every 232 years if you spaced them out evenly. So at 300 years, well, you get the picture. The Northwest is overdue for some serious rock and roll.

In 2016, scientists freaked out in January when a major shift occurred on the ocean floor dropping the Cascadia Subduction Zone by over four feet instantly. As indicated earlier, there has been a wave of 5.8+ earthquakes in the zone around Vancouver over recent weeks.

Is it a coincidence then that FEMA suddenly organized a major drill to simulate the occurrence of a major disaster in the Pacific Northwest based on a 9.0+ earthquake? Experience has shown that the United States Government is not very proactive. So when FEMA organizes scenarios and exercises such as these, people should take notice.

As for California? Well, once the Juan de Fuca and Gorda plates shift, the equilibrium of the entire West Coast plate system will be disrupted. What that means is that the tendency for the San Andreas fault line to activate and shift substantially will increase exponentially should a major earthquake occur in the Cascadia Zone. In other words, once the dominoes begin to fall, there is nothing to stop them until the last one falls over.

And just remember: The last massive earthquake that occurred in the Pacific Northwest was in 1700. The ensuing tsunami that followed wiped out villages not only in the Northwest, but also as far away as Japan. So enjoy the day as you should, but also take some time to be prepared in the event that the inevitable happens sooner rather than later.


Related Resources:

Cascadia Earthquake Report