cascadia subduction zone

Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

The rare but ever-present risk of a tsunami has worried people along the Pacific Northwest coast for years. Different communities are working on moving critical facilities to higher ground.

Mustafa Lazkani / FEMA

The report cards are in and it's not pretty if you worry about how you'll fare after a magnitude 9 Cascadia megaquake and tsunami. Washington and Oregon's emergency management divisions have now published after-action reviews of last June's multi-state disaster drill called Cascadia Rising .

Oregon Office of Emergency Management

Washington state is playing catch-up compared to other West Coast states on earthquake preparedness. A "subcabinet" of state agency directors convened by Gov. Jay Inslee will hold its first public meeting Tuesday afternoon to review possible actions to improve.

Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

Emergency responders in Washington, Oregon and Idaho this week are practicing for a subduction zone earthquake. It’s part of a regional drill called Cascadia Rising -- billed as the largest earthquake simulation in Northwest history.

Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

Planes and parachutes might be the best bet for getting supplies to cut-off areas in the event of a subduction zone earthquake. National Guard pilots and paratroopers practiced supply drops and parachute jumps Thursday.

Oregon Office of Emergency Management

The state of Oregon has updated its master plan for what to do in case of a major earthquake and tsunami.

Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

The Washington National Guard -- joined by officers from Oregon and Idaho -- are preparing for a massive military relief effort.

Matt Cooper, Univ. of Oregon

Any parent of a rambunctious youngster can tell you trouble might be afoot when things go quiet in the playroom. Two independent research initiatives indicate there is a comparable situation with the Cascadia earthquake fault zone.

Cascadia Advective Conductive Heat Expedition. Launching the ROV Jason, the unmanned minisub which deployed heat flow sensors and probes on the seafloor.

It's been a busy summer on the high seas for researchers trying to figure out the inner workings of an ominous earthquake fault. The Cascadia Subduction Zone runs offshore from Vancouver Island to Northern California. When it rips, we could have a magnitude 9 catastrophe.

University of Washington geophysicist Paul Johnson led a nearly month-long research cruise to the likely epicenter for the Big One. His ship carried an unmanned minisub to probe the seafloor directly over the still somewhat mysterious Cascadia earthquake fault.

Matt Cooper / University of Oregon

This week a research ship is retrieving dozens of seismometers that have spent the last year on the ocean floor off the Northwest coast. Earthquake scientists hope the data they're about to get will shed more light on the structure of the offshore Cascadia fault zone. That plate boundary will be the source of the Big One whenever it rips.