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07.14.2002

Seattle Is Doomed

We spent all day yesterday circummotoring the Olympic Peninsula in a little Ford Escort. A beautiful drive, with eagles and cedar forests and foggy views of British Columbia across the Juan de Fuca strait. I had been re-reading John McPhee's Annals of the Former World. As we flew in to Seattle, overflying the Cascades, and then as we circled the Olympic range, I couldn't stop thinking about the Juan de Fuca plate diving under North America directly underneath us, in the Cascadia subduction zone. Vermont this is not - the mountains here are brand new, and rising fast.

The USGS has this to say about Seattle:

If geologic studies now in progress sustain our current view of Seattle fault zone hazards, it is likely that the greater Seattle area will see upward revisions in building codes.

This is their way of saying "You're all going to die!". They print it right next to the map with the big red bullseye right under the Puget Sound, those snickering geologists. Geologists seem to like their apocalyptic predictions nice and understated. Me, I prefer things a litle more panicky and histrionic.

Time to go on a geek cruise with Damian Conway. Life is delightful. Tsunami hazard, shtsunami hazard

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