A federal bill sponsored by U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell and aimed at advancing tsunami research and bolstering tsunami notification and response systems unanimously passed the Senate this week.
The Tsunami Warning, Education and Research Act of 2015, if passed, would, in part, allocate resources to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s tsunami warning system. It would also commission the administration, along with the National Guard and Department of Homeland Security, to complete a readiness assessment of areas at risk of tsunamis.
Those assessments, the statement said, would be conducted along the Cascadia fault, which runs from Vancouver Island off British Columbia and south to Northern California, where it meets the San Andreas fault.
“With more than 300,000 Washingtonians living along the Cascadia fault in a tsunami danger zone, we must prepare our coastal communities,” Cantwell said in a release. “This legislation improves our emergency warning infrastructure, provides funding to our state-based emergency management programs and bolsters readiness assessments for coastal areas at risk.”
Tsunami and earthquake preparedness took over headlines in recent months after a July article in The New Yorker magazine, citing some of the world’s leading seismology experts, said a rupture along the Cascadia fault could be responsible for a high-magnitude earthquake that could “destroy a sizable portion of the Northwest.”