UW researchers prep for the next Cascadia megaquake

Tsunami building

Tsunami safe areas in the future may include building rooftops.

Earth and Space Sciences’ Frank Gonzalez, John Vidale, and Arthur Frankel, along with other scientists from across the University of Washington, are teaming up to better prepare our region for the next massive megaquake off the Pacific Northwest coast. Their efforts include designing the first tsunami evacuation structure in the United States, development of a campus-wide research project on major earthquakes, and the upcoming rollout of early earthquake alerts. Their work coincides with the 315th anniversary of the Cascade Earthquake, which caused vast destruction and triggered a tsunami that reached across the Pacific Ocean to Japan. That magnitude nine earthquake was set into motion along the West Coast via the still-active Cascadia fault.

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