Off the coast of northern California, Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia sits the Cascadia Subduction Zone, a particular kind of fault line that will eventually unleash an earthquake not seen since the year 1700. When it does eventually hit, it’s estimated to be the largest earthquake to ever strike the modern United States. Unfortunately, the Pacific Northwest has not prepared for such an incredibly devastating disaster. So what happens if it the big earthquake hits tomorrow?
As someone who currently lives in Portland, OR this was a fun episode to explore. Unlike California, the Pacific Northwest didn’t really have seismic codes until relatively recently. Certainly nothing that would stand up to even a 6.0 magnitude earthquake. Additionally, Portland has quite a lot of brick masonry buildings that will absolutely crumble when this earthquake does eventually hit. I’m not a buildings expert, but I’m not sure if brick masonry buildings are even able to be seismically retrofitted.
Enjoy the episode!