Could a Mega Earthquake Strike the Pacific Northwest in 2013?
A large 7.5 magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of Alaska on January 5, 2013. Could that be a harbinger of more seismic activity this year?
The January quake was off shore from the Alaskan Panhandle. The quake did no damage and tsunami warnings were quickly cancelled. However some scientits think the Pacific Northwest will see a 'megathrust' event this year. SeattlePI.com reports:
devastating megathrust quakes that happen every 300 to 500 years in our neck of the woods (those caused by the Juan De Fuca plate's grinding collision and subduction with the North American plate) are still impossible to predict, some clues may be emerging.
The biggest and most interesting quake of the year struck under Victoria, B.C., last week. It was a magnitude 4 temblor and resembled in depth and fault the magnitude 6.8 Nisqually quake that damaged Seattle and shook the region in 2001, he said.
It was felt and reported to the network's webpage by about 800 people.
He added that a string of unusual quakes around the globe has the seismic community baffled. A big earthquake off the coast of Sumatra in the Indian Ocean six months ago was "very strange" because of its size and distance from the plate boundary.
It showed "we can get earthquakes we really hadn't anticipated," he said.
In the past few years, China got hit with an earthquake on a fault that wasn't mapped, New Zealand suffered a "very rare earthquake"
The great Alaskan quake of 1964 struck near Anchorage and was a record 9.2 - the largest ever recorded in North America: