TACOMA, Wash. -- New animation shows what would happen to Tacoma if a devastating earthquake and tsunami struck.
Even knowing it's just data on a screen, just computer animation, it's a little eerie watching the Port of Tacoma and much of Fife get swamped by a tsunami.
The wave washes into Commencement Bay then spreads north and east through the port waterways, sloshing up onto streets and through areas of heavy industry, through marinas and waterside walkways.
Seven minutes after a major quake hits in Seattle, the water is at its highest -- six to 15 feet deep over much of the port, flooding a few feet deep beyond Interstate 5.
State disaster planners have done this kind of modeling for Seattle, Port Angeles, Port Townsend, Anacortes, Whidbey Island, Everett, Bellingham and now Tacoma. They want local emergency agencies to use the graphic demonstrations as starting points as they develop serious quake and tsunami response plans.
The maps can show which neighborhoods are at the greatest risk, which might have natural evacuation routes and gathering points, which might need artificial berms or platforms for temporary refuge.
Next they want the same computer images for the San Juan Islands, as they continue to push people to get ready for the worst.