PORTLAND, Ore. – An article predicting an imminent Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake is a hoax, according to a Portland State University geologist.
The article was published Sunday and has circulated widely on Facebook and Twitter, prompting many KGW viewers to ask whether the information is credible.
The article, published by Superstation95.com, says an ocean data buoy detected a sudden drop in water depth off Oregon’s west coast. The article said the drop indicated the “earth sunk” and the tectonic plate will soon snap “back upward,” resulting in a catastrophic earthquake.
While there is a chance a Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake will strike along the Juan de Fuca plate, scientists say there is no evidence that the process has begun.
KGW talked with Scott Burns, a geologist with PSU. Burns said he confirmed with the National Weather Service that the article was a hoax, and the weather service debunked the article.
The National Weather Service tweeted that tides naturally change water column height each day.
Did you know? Tides naturally change water column height at buoys up to several feet every day. pic.twitter.com/UM78prirsa— NWS Portland (@NWSPortland) January 18, 2016
A list of real-time tsunami and earthquake information can be found on the weather service’s tsunami warning center.
KGW also has a real-time map of earthquakes in the Northwest. Small earthquakes are common and not usually indicative of a larger event.
There is a one in three chance that a Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake stronger than 8.0 will strike in the next 50 years. That earthquake could trigger a tsunami that could send a wall of water up to 100 feet high towards the Oregon and Washington coastline.
Scientists have little ability to predict the moment an earthquake will happen. Experts encourage residents in the Northwest to be prepared by having an emergency kit and earthquake-proofing your home.
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