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Totally Psyched for the Full-rip Nine . . .

 
TheTymeBeing
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User ID: 1508999
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09/21/2011 07:31 AM
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Totally Psyched for the Full-rip Nine . . .
Monster earthquakes are going off all around the Pacific Ocean’s Ring of Fire. Is the West Coast of North America next?* And can you surf a tsunami?** Join us on a footnoted foray into the terrifying world of megaquakes, tidal waves, and the fine art of being your own Jesus.

PITY POOR CASSANDRA, blessed by Apollo with the power of prophecy, cursed with the fate of ­disbelief. She tells the people what’s coming. She suffers their laughter, absorbs their scorn. Then she watches her prediction come true. Yeah, you told us so, they’ll say as they bury the dead. Congratulations, jerk.

Patrick Corcoran feels her pain. It’s his job. Every day, he rises at dawn and goes out into the world to tell people to prepare to meet their doom. Or, rather, to prepare to escape it.

Corcoran is a professional geographer in Astoria, Oregon, a misty fishing port where the Columbia River meets the ­Pacific Ocean. He’s a high-energy guy, 50, with a little ­Billy Bob Thornton to his look. Loves his job and loves his coffee. Drives around in his ­Toyota ­Tacoma all day with an 11.5-foot-long Taka­yama paddleboard strapped to the rack. He’s a coastal natural-hazards specialist with Ore­gon Sea Grant, a marine version of an agri­cul­tural extension service affiliated with ­Oregon State University. Cor­coran prophesies earthquakes and tsunamis five days a week.

“It breaks my heart to go out and tell people, ‘Hey, you know that place your grandparents immigrated to, the place you call home, that seaside cottage? Well, it turns out to be a high-risk disaster zone. Yeah. We get a massive earthquake every 300 to 500 years around here, and we’re due. They’re super bad. When it comes, it’s a monster. A full-rip nine.’ ”

By “full-rip nine” Corcoran means a mag­ni­tude-9.0 earthquake, the kind of massive off­shore temblor that triggered the tsunami that killed 28,050 people in Japan on March 11, 2011. Geologists call them megaquakes. Geo­logists also call the Northwest coast of North America—from Vancouver Island down to Northern California—one of the like­­liest next victims.

“When that earthquake hits, it’s going to shake for a long time,” says Corcoran. “Three to five minutes or more. You’re going to feel lucky to survive. Then guess what. You rode out the quake? Congratulations. Now you have 15 minutes to get above 50 feet of ele­vation. Fifteen minutes. You’re elderly and not very mobile? Sorry. Your condition does not change the geologic facts. It’s called a tsu­nami. The water’s coming. It can’t be stopped. Don’t ask Jesus to save you. Be your own Jesus.”

Much more here . . .

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[link to www.thetymebeing.net]
Poetry and Musings from above the ground . . .
TheTymeBeing  (OP)

User ID: 1508999
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09/21/2011 09:17 AM
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Re: Totally Psyched for the Full-rip Nine . . .
bump
[link to www.thetymebeing.net]
Poetry and Musings from above the ground . . .
Carol B.
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User ID: 1265827
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09/21/2011 09:26 AM

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Re: Totally Psyched for the Full-rip Nine . . .
I'm thinking it could happen at any time now. Probably sooner rather than later.hiding
Anonymous Coward
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02/22/2012 04:23 PM
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Re: Totally Psyched for the Full-rip Nine . . .
MINUTE 0:00
After 312 years, the Cascadia subduction zone can no longer contain the strain. It ruptures at a spot 55 miles west of Cannon Beach and quickly spreads along 700 miles of its 740-mile length. The North American plate slips anywhere from 45 to 57 feet to the southwest, sliding over the Juan de Fuca plate. It doesn’t happen instantly. A mass that large—remember, we’re talking about crust more than 50 miles deep—takes time to move. But upon its first lunge, the CSZ sends out a pres­sure wave, or P-wave, that travels through the earth’s crust at 13,000 miles per hour. It reaches the West Coast within ten seconds. That first P-wave, the earthquake’s leading edge, hits Ocean Shores, Cannon Beach, and Seaside. Thirty seconds later it reaches Port­land; in 50 seconds, it hits Seattle. At the Uni­versity of Washington’s Seis­mology Lab in Seattle, the seismometers jump. Geologists read the data and declare the earthquake a 9.1. It’s the full rip.

The first few seconds feel like any other strong earthquake: jarring. “The pressure wave is like a jackhammer, rat-tat-tat-tat-tat,” explains Goldfinger, who happened to be outside Tokyo—at a geology conference to discuss the Sumatra earthquake—during the March 11 Sendai quake.

The sound is majestic and awesome. In his book A Dangerous Place, author Marc Reisner wrote of his experience in San Francisco during the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake: “What I remember most vividly is the grinding, the unearthly noise of great surfaces and structures grating together.” Chris Goldfinger recalled the sound of leaves rattling on trees. In Japanese houses, the sound was an unrelenting clatter of metal and glass.

In the offices, apartments, and high-rise condos of Seattle and Portland, uncertainty creeps into half a million heads: Freeze or flee? In videos shot during the Japanese mega­quake, the overwhelming emotion on display isn’t panic or raw fear. It’s focused anxiety and strategic calculation. They are trying to figure out what to do.

“People in buildings die in an earthquake one of two ways,” Corcoran says. “Either the building pancakes on top of them, or they run outside and a gargoyle falls off and hits them on the head. You need to know: Is your building a pancake or a gargoyle?”

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