Northwest Buildings Vulnerable to Quakes

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Japan’s horrific March 11, magnitude-9 earthquake and tsunami is a wake-up call to the Pacific Northwest.

The quake emanated from the Japan Trench Subduction Zone on the Pacific Ring of Fire. The Northwest has a similar subduction zone, also located on the Pacific Ring of Fire, namely the Cascadia Subduction Zone. Geologists consider Portland and Seattle to have a 10- to 14-percent chance of experiencing a magnitude-9 subduction earthquake in the next 50 years.

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