Preliminary results from a study related to the subduction of the Juan De Fuca Plate beneath the North American Plate off the coast of Washington and British Columbia indicate that the potential mega-thrust earthquake could strike closer to the Seattle-Tacoma area than previously thought. I believe this project is the same one where I posted their press release about two years ago. According to the article, the average return period for these mega-thrust earthquakes is 400 to 500 years with a range between 300 and 800 and the estimated magnitude of around 9.0. The last mega-thrust earthquake along the Cascadia Subduction Zone was in January of 1700. Previously, scientists predicted the earthquake would be centered just off the coast, they now think it could be 30 miles or more inland, under the Olympic Peninsula to the west of the Seattle-Tacoma area. Source: Physorg.com via Geology.com.
The regular news media as well as the geo-blogosphere are all abuzz about Monday’s 7.9 magnitude earthquake in central China. Official death toll is at 12,000 right now and that’s in Sichuan Province alone. My guess is that number will swell substantially in the coming days. If you haven’t seen photos and video yet, they are absolutely gut-wrenching. My heart and prayers go out to the victims of this disaster. (Photo by Liu Hai, AP)
Several geo-bloggers have posts about the earthquake. Harold Asmis of Ontario-GeoFish describes the earthquake as a "big valley-thrust earthquake" or what he calls the "Fist of God". Dave’s Landslide Blog has started compiling reports of landslides related to the earthquake in this landslide prone region of China. And here is the USGS info on the earthquake.