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Indonesia earthquake lessons: Pacific Northwest needs to be prepared

Indonesia faced a magnitude 7.5 earthquake and tsunami Friday. Here's what it means for us.
Members of an Indonesian rescue team look for survivors in a collapsed home in Palu, Indonesia's Central Sulawesi on October 1, 2018, after an earthquake and tsunami hit the area on September 28. (Photo: YUSUF WAHIL/AFP/Getty Images)

Indonesia is an ocean away from Washington state, but the disaster from a major earthquake that is playing out there has a lot in common with us.

The magnitude 7.5 earthquake and tsunami that hit the Indonesian island of Sulawesi last week has so far racked up a known death toll of 1,234, which authorities expect to go higher, perhaps much higher.

Like Indonesia, Washington is expecting to be hit with a far larger earthquake, a magnitude 9 off our coast. That earthquake could come from the Cascadia Subduction Zone, which runs from northern California to southern British Columbia.

RELATED: Complete disaster preparedness coverage

Instead of a devastating 20-foot high wave, a tsunami along Washington’s coast is forecast to reach four times that height in places.

Are you prepared to be on your own for two weeks – or a month if you live in a coastal community – until help can arrive? That’s the current recommendation for preparedness since 2016. Get a full list of what should go in your disaster preparedness kit here.

RELATED: Quileute Tribe gets money to build tsunami safe school

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