March 16, 2011
WASHINGTON â€“ The western United States is overdue for a huge earthquake and tsunami much like the one that devastated Japan last week, and is nowhere near ready to cope with the disaster, experts say.
A volatile, horseshoe-shaped area known as the Pacific Ring of Fire has recently erupted with quakes in Chile, Japan, Mexico and New Zealand, and seismologists say it is just a matter of time before the next big one hits.
Twin fault lines place the US west at risk: the San Andreas fault that scars the length of California and the lesser-known but more potent Cascadia Subduction Zone off the Pacific Coast.
A 9.0 quake in this underwater fault that stretches from the northern tip of California all the way to Canada’s British Columbia could simultaneously rattle major port cities of Vancouver, Portland and Seattle, unleash a massive tsunami and kill thousands of people.
This article was posted: Wednesday, March 16, 2011 at 4:04 am