CAMP MURRAY, Wash. (AP) — The Pacific Northwest kicked off a massive earthquake and tsunami drill Tuesday as part of a multiday event to rehearse scenarios on how the region would deal with a dual natural disaster that could kill thousands, cut off coastal communities, and collapse phone and internet service.
The four-day event, called Cascadia Rising, is built around the premise of a 9.0 magnitude earthquake 95 miles off of the coast of Oregon that results in a tsunami. Both events would likely destroy buildings, roads and buildings and disrupt communications.
Major General Bret Daugherty, commander of the Washington National Guard, said that when the Cascadia Subduction Zone — a 600-mile-long fault just off the coast that runs from Northern California to British Columbia — ruptures “it will result in a catastrophe like nothing we have ever seen.”
“It’s expected to be the worst natural disaster ever in the United States,” he said. So we’re taking this week very, very seriously and we’re pulling in every possible resource so that when the quake actually hits we’re assured that we are all on the same page in our response efforts.”