West Coast Early Warning

opinion Essay
945 words
945 words

The Japanese National Police Agency has confirmed 14,084 deaths, 5302 injured, and 13,511 missing due to the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake (“Counter”). Japan has the world’s most advanced earthquake early-warning system that includes at least 1,000 seismographs scattered throughout the country. According to some reports, some people received up to a minute advance warning that a quake was about to start. Washington, Oregon, and California are in the Cascadia Subduction Zone that is overdue for a life altering earthquake. Despite the hefty price tag, it is critical we build this system now. We are in a race against time to implement an Early Warning System that could save countless lives.

The United States’ West Coast is part of The Ring of Fire, where 90% of the world’s earthquakes occur. The Cascadia Subduction Zone is a very long, sloping fault that stretches from mid-Vancouver Island to Northern California. It is located on the North-East side of the Ring of Fire. It separates two other major plates called the Juan de Fuca and North American plates. (Flynn). Geological evidence shows the last earthquake in the Cascadia Subduction Zone was in January of 1700. According to geological record, earthquakes happen in this area approximately every 300 years. After all the years of storing up energy, it is well over due for a Megathrust Earthquake. A Megathrust Earthquake is a quake that centers where one tectonic plate slips beneath another. Pressure builds until it releases like a spring mechanism. It usually occurs in a subduction zone just like the Cascadia Subduction Zone. New ocean floor is constantly being created about fifty miles offshore of the Washington and Oregon coast (O'Neill). It is just a matter of time before th...

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...y. "Cascadia Megathrust Earthquakes." PNSN - Pacific Northwest Seismic Network. 02 July 2002. PNSN - Pacific Northwest Seismic Network. 18 Apr. 2011.

Henn, Steve. "The Effectiveness of Japan's Earthquake Early-warning System." Marketplace from American Public Media: Business, The Economy, Personal Finance, Wall Street and World News. 11 Mar. 2011. Web. 29 Apr. 2011.

O'Neill, Craig. "The Anatomy of a Megathrust Earthquake." COSMOS Magazine, 07 Apr. 2011. Web. 21 Apr. 2011.

Taugher, Mike. "Early warning for earthquakes on West Coast possible - Inside Bay Area." Inside Bay 06 Apr. 2011. The Oakland Tribune. 19 Apr. 2011.

Westfield, Bentley. "Riverside County Implements Early Warning Notification System." West Coast 911 — Firefighting News, Wildfire Updates, West Coast Firefighters, Firefighter Products. 23 Apr. 2008. Web. 24 Apr. 2011.

In this essay, the author

  • Opines that japan has the world's most advanced earthquake early-warning system that includes at least 1,000 seismographs scattered throughout the country.
  • Explains the cascadia subduction zone is a long, sloping fault that separates two other major plates called the juan de fuca and north american plates.
  • Opines that most cities in the cascadia subduction zone are not prepared for a disaster that could cause unimaginable property damage and loss of life.
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