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Tsunami Threats in the U.S.

There are only two places in the U.S. where an earthquakecould cause a tsunami on the scale of the one that hit theFar East recently. Studies show that at least one of theseareas is long overdue for a quake and may have one at anytime.

Robin Lloyd writes in LiveScience.com that the Cascadiasubduction zone, running 50 miles up the coast of thePacific Northwest, has experienced four huge earthquakes inthe past 1,600 years, and another big one is overdue.

In the past, earthquakes in this zone have come in clustersof up to five at one time, with 300 years between quakes.The most recent, quake of a 9.0 magnitude, took place in theyear 1700. The one before that hit in the year 1500. It?snow been 305 years since the last quake, so the area isoverdue for another one. A quake along the Cascadia faultwould cause the ocean floor to bounce 20 feet, setting offgiant waves close to shore that would hit land in half anhour?not enough time to evacuate residents.

The second danger area is in Alaska, where an earthquakeproduced a giant tsunami in 1964.

Maybe we?d better learn how toleave ourbodies!

Photo credit: http://www.freeimages.co.uk/

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