This week marks the anniversary of a long unknown Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake that hit this region in 1700. The resulting tsunami hit the West Coast hard locally, and was immortalized in Native folklore. But documented evidence of this giant temblor was found far away in Japan, a highly earthquake prone region where they kept careful records. When the earthquake hit here, hours later a damaging tsunami hit Japan. But there was no earthquake there. As a result, the Japanese dubbed it, “The Orphan Tsunami.” It was the late 20th century before scientists discovered that there had once been a huge earthquake in the PNW. They’ve been studying it since, and their research informs our emergency preparedness now.
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