Pacific Northwest Faces Nearly Identical Risks To Japanese Quake

Researchers say the devastating earthquake in Japan could happen in the Pacific Northwest.

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“The forces you’re seeing in Japan are similar to what happened in Indonesia,” Yim said. “You saw cars and boats and debris slamming into structures and bridges, those are the types of forces we need to learn more about in building tsunami resistant structures.”

Improvements in understanding subsea bathymetry would be helpful, OSU experts said, as well as how wave forces will translate into onshore runup once they hit land. More work with public outreach and ocean mapping are also needed, they said.

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