Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Major Earthquake Destroys Seattle - Democrats to Blame

Seattle has been warned.

The Washington State Department of Transportation released a video under the Freedom of Information Act depicting the annihilation of the Seattle Waterfront during the next large scale seismic event. The release was in support of an ongoing (8 year) debate about how best to resolve the question of fixing or replacing the Alaskan Way Viaduct following the 2001 Nisqually earthquake.
The Nisqually earthquake was an intraslab earthquake, occurring at 10:54 a.m. PST (18:54 UTC). on February 28, 2001, and was one of the largest recorded earthquakes in Washington state history. The quake measured 6.8 on the MMS and lasted approximately 45 seconds. The epicenter of the earthquake was under Anderson Island, about 17 km (11 mi) northeast of Olympia. The focus was at a depth of 52 km (32 mi).
During the Nisqually event, which I remember as if it were yesterday, the ground shook for 45 seconds at a magnitude 6.8 at epicenter located 30 miles southwest of Seattle. During that event the Alaskan way viaduct and Seattle waterfront seawall suffered considerable damage. As well, it was discovered that the seawall was infested with microbial sea life called "gribbles". It was determined after the event that the structure was not safe, would need temporary repairs, and would need to be replaced as soon as possible... the event took place 3163 days ago - more than eight and a half years.

What is more important is that the event occurred on a minor fault south of the metropolitan area, NOT on one of the major faults commonly suspected to be "overdue for the big one". For those from outside the area, there is a major fault running directly beneath the business center of downtown Seattle. The Puget Sound region is home to multiple daily quakes of 3.0 or smaller as the Juan de Fuca plate continues to subduct beneath the Continental plate, fuelling our massive volcanoes and defining a way of life in the region. In short, it is widely accepted in the area that a major earthquake is likely imminent and could occur at any moment.

As such, the scenario used by the WDOT is the likely occurrence of near future events - not the exception to the rule. What you are about to see is a dire warning to the elected Democrat officials of Seattle and King County that their years of inept leadership will most likely result in mass casualty and severe property damage.

There are many alternatives to the Viaduct, some improving the waterfront district and some furthering the "feel" of the concrete wall that is the viaduct. Many options are on the table and many more have been rejected. What is troubling is that it is the inability for the elected leadership to LEAD, causing a series of rejected funding votes from the citizens, and a continuation of an operating death trap in the middle of a major city.

Seattle, King County, and Washington State are all led by Democrats... career politicians whose focus has been social engineering rather than civil engineering. Their lack of leadership, inability to perform the basic function of government, and their absolute mishandling of this most crucial issue is in dire need of national attention, and should be used as a perfect case opposing government run ANYTHING!

Maybe that case will be made once the body count comes in?


  1. Elected leaders are ALWAYS afraid of big decisions like this, in large part due to the cost. It never seems to occur to them that the cost will be much greater, the longer they wait.

    Other cities face much the same dilemma; St. Louis comes to mind, as none of its older buildings are earthquake-resistant. If the New Madrid fault undergoes another tremor like the one in 1811 (an 8.2), the ground in the greater metro area there will liquefy, including the footings under the many bridges.

    Our "leaders" should be ashamed of themselves as they pass the costs to their children.

  2. I used to drive to work every day on that back in 1995... wow, what a long time ago. It's been in need of help for quite a while now!!

  3. That sucks.

    Oh well, welcome to the Pacific Rim.

    I experienced th '71 San Fernando Valley quake. We were 5 miles away from the epicenter. Don't ever want to go through that again, I'll tell you.

  4. Bug - yes... for many years! Unfortunately I predict that we will see catastrophe before the King County and Seattle governments actually do anything to replace it... so far it has been millions in a decade long planning project... if it takes a decade to plan, imagine how long it is going to take to replace!

    "This just in - Viaduct replacement/reopening celebration being scheduled for 2075!"

    Jonesie - Those big ones can be a real life experience, eh?

  5. Scary. It's a good thing we have plans to rebuild the waterfront.