There’s been talk of “The Big One” for years that’s supposed to hit the west coast of U.S. and Canada. Scientists have said we’re long overdue and that we definitely should be prepared. Cascadia Rising is being held June 7 to 10 and will be the largest earthquake drill in the region.
Over 20,000 people will be involved who will be rehearsing disaster scenarios such as a massive earthquake and tsunami hitting the region. U.S.government, the military, and state and local emergency managers have been developing this drill over the past few years to help prepare for the worst when it strikes.
The main goal is to test how well everyone works together to quickly respond and minimize damage and deaths when “The Big One” does actually hit. It’s predicted that it will generate huge tsunami waves so it’s not just the earthquake that we need to be prepared for.
It Could Happen At Any Time
Researchers have found that the Cascadia Subduction Zone produces a massive magnitude 9.0 earthquake every 500 years on average. This doesn’t mean it will happen exactly 500 years apart as big quakes have occurred only 200 years apart and as many as 1,000 years apart. Unfortunately it’s impossible to predict when the next one will hit but seismologists say that tectonic stress has been accumulating in the Cascadia Subduction Zone for over 300 years already so it can indeed rupture at anytime.
With more than 8 million people living in the area it has the potential to cause some serious damage as heavily populated areas like Seattle, Portland, and Vancouver will be affected. Studies have shown that coastal towns are especially at risk as forecasts have estimated that up to 1,100 people could die from a magnitude 9.0 earthquake but a whopping 13,500 may die from the tsunami that follows.
Devastating tsunamis were experienced by Indonesia when a massive 9.1 earthquake created 100 ft (30 m) tsunamis that killed over 230,000 people in 2004 and more recently the 2011 Japan earthquake that generated waves as ridiculously high as 133 ft (40.m)!
Preparedness and Planning is Crucial
With more and more evidence suggesting a powerful earthquake will hit the region, it’s crucial that preparedness and planning events like Cascadia Rising occur more frequently to train and better coordinate rescue efforts. Even though government and emergency groups are preparing with regards to rescue efforts, we as citizens must also prepare. The more prepared we are the less we’ll need to rely on emergency responders and they’ll be available to help others in need.
Unfortunately even though people hear about this, most aren’t even prepared. They don’t have an earthquake kit, they don’t have an evacuation plan, they don’t even know what they should do in an earthquake. This lack of preparedness can be costly so government along with citizens like you and I are trying to spread the word and educate others to keep more people safe.
Are you prepared? What steps have you taken or are taking to be prepared? Share with us in the comments section and help others get prepared as well.