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Today is the anniversary of the last BIG earthquake in the Pacific Northwest! It was 318 years ago tonight (January 26th,1700).It hit at 9:16pm & was estimated to be between 8.2-9.2. The Tsunami travelled at the speed of a jet plane across the Pacific & hit Japan 10 hours later!

Japanese fishermen left early in the morning with their boats to go fish out in deep water.When they came back at the end of the day their homes & villages were gone! The tsunami went right under their boats,they didn’t notice a thing. Tsunamis only show themselves in shallow waters & usually by that time it’s too late to run.

This Tsunami was called the “Orphan” tsunami because the Japanese didn’t know where it came from? There was no earthquake? It didn’t come from the Japanese coast but from the west coast of North America. The epicentre was roughly 150 kilometres west of Salem Oregon.(45N,125W)

A section 1000 kilometers(620miles) of the Cascadia subduction zone let loose suddenly & the land subsided 20 meters(66 feet). What had taken hundreds of years to build up,was released in one second! The effect must of been felt for hundreds of miles inland!

Of course the only inhabitants along the west coast in 1700 at that time were the FN.Many villages were wiped out from not just the tsunami but also land/rockslides. I could not find any data on how many died but suspect it would be measured in the thousands?

With all the build up along the west coast now, the next  large earthquake death toll will be horrific! Most certainly measured in the hundreds of thousands.Not to mention the destruction to all the major cities along the coast & the financial toll that would be felt for decades!

…………the worst part is there isn’t a dam thing that can be done about it!

Of course, if you see a large truck barrelling down the road,you get out of the way. Unfortunately we do not know when that truck is next coming? So by the time you see it,….it’s too late.

I suppose being aware of it helps some in preparation but the vast majority will be caught with their pants down!

Good luck!


  1. One of the downsides of living in this gorgeous part of the world. The thing that keeps me awake at night (for at least a few minutes) is we’ll have absolutely no warning, unlike with hurricanes or even tornadoes. Advice is to get prepared (supplies, grab & go bags), set up emergency contacts, etc., and then just get on with life. Your photos certainly show people the wonders of the West Coast.

    1. you summed it up nicely Audrey! The basic problem is nobody knows when? Many believe they can figure it out but Nature is not some tidy sum of factors that can be computed.
      Being aware & prepared will increase your chances significantly of course.Having a plan in mind can go a long way! I have three locations with supplies.

  2. Interesting post, Wayne. All you can do is make those preparations, then keep your fingers crossed. Turned out okay the other day, but next time? Who knows…
    Keep safe, and maybe you can get out soon? You’ve had it heavy there for a while now, must be due a break!

  3. Didn’t realize there were quakes in Oregon and a 9 pointer at that!!! Will share this information with family and friends there. Good idea to be as prepared as possible as Audrey suggested. And good you have supplies in several places, That’s about as good as a person could do. Thanks for writing this up Wayne, appreciate it. Lovely coastline photo also.

    1. these events are megathrust quakes that occur 500 years or so.There have been many earthquakes in the past.The smallest interval of time was 300 with the greatest being 900. It’s guaranteed 100% to happen…….we just do not know when?
      Make plans with your family.Decide on a meeting spot inland where it’ll be safe.There won’t be any communication with your cells so a meeting place is critical!

      1. Ah . . . . good idea to have a meeting place with family, but so many roads will be clogged with traffic day and night. Maybe head into the mountains close by. Lots to consider. Appreciate your advice.

  4. Lots of info in there I didn’t know! My kids moved back to NC from Los Angeles, and I did breathe a sigh of relief. We experienced two serious earthquakes when we lived there, and I know the San Andreas fault is do for a big one sometime soon. Not that I haven’t felt a quake here – a few years ago there was one situated in Virginia that gave our house a bang!

  5. I find it strange with all the knowledge the scientists have of a ‘killer’ quake, our government is horribly slow providing alternate means of escape. You have one road out and it sucks! Same here on the west side, one road up the Malahat and what are the chances it will be open after a quake? Not likely.

    1. If your serious Jacquie I would buy a off road BMX motorcycle.Remember that the roads most likely will be impassable because of large cracks!
      The only other way of escape would be if everyone owned a helicopter & judging by the way people drive their cars, choppers would be dropping out of the sky like flies!

      1. Lol, off-road is a good idea, Wayne. It’s the seniors and others who aren’t very mobile I worry about. You’re right though, the roads would be hazardous :(

  6. was wondering about the Alaska earthquake in 1964.. that caused a lot of damage in Northern California if memory serves me right.

  7. Evolution has rarely been kind to the strongest, Wayne.
    Being in the right place at right time; keeping one’s wits about them in the midst of destruction,
    and withstanding all the horrid bullshit, may be deemed by some by luck, fate, or an act of God,
    and they’d all be right, or we wood knot be here to talk about it. “Enjoy the view on your way out!” Well?

    Good shot! I can live with that.

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