tsunami

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.

Derin Allard / Flickr - tinyurl.com/y89yojzg

When a massive tsunami hit the northeast coast of Japan in 2011, waves of water overtopped sea walls, swallowed buildings and surged higher than anticipated. One thing those images prompted was a reexamination of the tsunami risk in the Pacific Northwest.

Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

A new tsunami survival option has come to the Pacific Northwest coast. It involves climbing into a spherical aluminum pod for what is sure to be the ride of your life.

FEMA/City of Long Beach, Washington

Long Beach, Washington, has an earthquake and tsunami preparedness problem shared with some other low-lying coastal Northwest places such as Seaside, Oregon, and Ocean Shores, Washington. Many townspeople and visitors likely couldn’t reach high ground in time to escape a tsunami.

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

Up and down the West Coast there are beach towns where it would be challenging to escape a tsunami.

Ecola Architects, PC

SEATTLE - Building codes cover fire prevention, energy efficiency, and seismic safety among other things. Now a group of civil engineers from around the West is developing additions to the code to cover the threat of a tsunami.

Kent Yu of Degenkolb Engineers in Portland is one of the members of an American Society of Civil Engineers subcommittee drafting standards for "tsunami loads and effects."

"I think it is going to help make our communities more resilient."

Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

Most of the tsunami warning sirens in one Oregon coastal county will go silent in the New Year. Communities up and down the West Coast are phasing in more modern forms of emergency alerts.

After much debate, Tillamook County leaders decided they could not justify the expense of modernizing and maintaining an aging network of 30 tsunami warning sirens. County emergency management director Gordon McCraw says there are many other pathways for people to hear about incoming danger.