A new study coming from Royal Roads University in British Columbia, Canada, says an even bigger quake is coming. The researchers looked at oceanic sediments, treating them like tree rings. “We know we’re probably looking at a megathrust earthquake in the past,” said researcher Audrey Dallimore.

University of Washington seismologist John Vidale, said the next megathrust quake wouldn’t be pinpointed in just one area. A 9.0 would be massive in scale, moving the ground 10 to 20 yards. Such a quake would level large parts of Seattle.

The damage would be wide-spread and go way beyond the Puget Sound. “In fact, all across the coast, from Vancouver Island down to Cape Mendocino in California.” said Vidale. The shaking could last five minutes or more. (Mitch’s note: I’ve been in a 6.8 quake that lasted just under 60 seconds. The idea of an earthquake lasting 5 minutes is beyond my current comprehension.)

Here’s a bit of good news (relatively speaking). Seismologist believe Seattle’s largest buildings may not topple because of new construction codes and the distance from the epicenter. The Cascadia quake will likely be off our coast, as many as 600 miles away, but it will still cause excessive damage just about everywhere.

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