Experts: Mega-quake, tsunami could happen in the US (and did)

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    Mar 14, 2011 12:14 AM GMT
    One of the remarkable things about watching Japan deal in the aftermath of the biggest earthquake in modern times is how prepared they were. Despite the thousands of lives lost, it could have easily have been hundreds of thousands if not millions. Friends in Japan noted in the past how crazy they thought all the drills were in the event of an earthquake that seemed to verge on overkill.

    Imagine if the same event happened anywhere else, in the developing world let alone the US.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/03/12/earlyshow/saturday/main20042451.shtml

    Not only could a disaster like the one that hit Japan Friday happen in the United States - one already has, and could again, experts said on "The Early Show on Saturday Morning."
    The magnitude-8.9 shaker spawned a tsunami that swamped large swaths of northeastern Japan, leaving devastating damage and killing hundreds.

    And Dr. Marcia McNutt, director of the U.S. Geological Survey, told c-anchor Rebecca Jarvis, "Every time an event like this happens, it's a wake-up call for us here in America that we need to be prepared."

    McNutt said the exact scenario that we saw happen in Japan has already occurred, in the Pacific Northwest.

    "Brian Atwater, who's a specialist at the U.S. Geological Survey, has looked back into the geologic record and seen evidence that, on the 26th of January, at 9 p.m., in the year 1700, there was an earthquake that generated a tsunami ... offshore Oregon ... that was actually historically recorded in Japan," McNutt said. "It was the same magnitude as this event. It happened then. It could happen again."
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    Mar 14, 2011 12:47 AM GMT
    We don't have any earthquake drills here because we don't usually have to worry about any earthquakes here in the midwest, but Chicago has had tremors that they could feel--not enough to do any damage, but there are fault lines here.

    Here we have a much greater threat from tornadoes so we have tornado drills because we will soon be entering tornado season and they can do as much damage as an earthquake and will kill, if you don't take the warnings seriously and seek cover in the basement and inner rooms away from windows.
    Wisconsin gets an average of 21 tornadoes per year and there was a record in 2005 of 62 tornadoes.
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    Mar 14, 2011 1:12 AM GMT
    There was also the big hurricane in Galveston in 1900 that killed 6,000 people. At the time, Galveston was considered the "NYC of the south". Now, it's a small beach town. Just goes to show how vulnerable cities are to natural disasters. Each part of the country has its own kind of natural disaster to worry about.

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    Mar 14, 2011 1:16 AM GMT
    I think it's just a matter of time before a MAJOR earthquake happens here. I've heard quite a few times that it's been many years since the Earth has released that built-up pressure and it has to happen soon. And chances are it will happen in California, possibly in LA or San Francisco. I pray that it doesn't but we have no control over these types of things.
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    Mar 14, 2011 5:23 AM GMT
    jockgymboy saidWe don't have any earthquake drills here because we don't usually have to worry about any earthquakes here in the midwest, but Chicago has had tremors that they could feel--not enough to do any damage, but there are fault lines here.

    Here we have a much greater threat from tornadoes so we have tornado drills because we will soon be entering tornado season and they can do as much damage as an earthquake and will kill, if you don't take the warnings seriously and seek cover in the basement and inner rooms away from windows.
    Wisconsin gets an average of 21 tornadoes per year and there was a record in 2005 of 62 tornadoes.



    The biggest and most risky fault outside of the western U.S., the New Madrid fault, is in located in the midwestern U.S.
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    Mar 14, 2011 5:29 AM GMT
    Duh
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    Mar 14, 2011 5:30 AM GMT
    Isn't the San Andreas Fault overdue for a "mega" earthquake? I learned about it once when I was studying plate tectonics...

    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2010/10/san-andreas-capable-of-80-earthquake-over-340-mile-swath-of-california-researchers-say.html