In 2001, a magnitude 6.8 earthquake struck Western Washington. Watch the video above to see widespread damage from the Nisqually quake. More than 16 years later, a vast number of newcomers to the area may not be familiar with the extent of the earthquake damage.
The epicenter of the quake was northeast of Olympia, 35 miles underground. The depth kept damage from being any worse. It was named for the Nisqually delta area between Tacoma and Olympia.
No one was killed as a direct result of the shaking. Although one death was blamed on a heart attack during the quake.
Damage was estimated at close to $4 billion. Destruction ranged from collapsed walls in Seattle's Pioneer Square, to damage on the Alaska Way Viaduct and seawall, plus broken glass in the air traffic control tower at Sea-Tac airport. Olympia dealt with damage, too. There were landslides, broken up roads and runways - all of which took years to fix.
The Nisqually quake was similar to others in 1949 and 1965. Washington state remains at risk of more severe earthquakes from the Seattle Fault, which lies closer to the surface. That could lead to a magnitude 9 megaquake along the Cascadia Subduction Zone.
What would you do in a magnitude 9 earthquake? Does your family have an emergency plan or necessary supplies at home, work, school, or even in the car?
Learn how to be as prepared as possible from our panel discussion, "SHAKE ALERT: Are you ready for the next big earthquake?" KING 5's Lori Matsukawa and Glenn Farley have been researching earthquake preparedness from the Washington coast to the coast of Japan. They were joined by Bill Steele, Director of Outreach & Communications from the University of Washington's Pacific Northwest Seismic Network.
Start getting ready now with this helpful list of resources shared by agencies across the Pacific Northwest:
KING 5 earthquake coverage:
Special thanks to the following agencies for sharing critical resources about earthquake readiness: University of Washington Pacific Seismic Network, Washington State Emergency Management, American Red Cross, University of Oregon, Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries, the Southern California Earthquake Center, and Caltech.