Sunday, August 28, 2011

The big one

There's probably going to be a 9.0+ earthquake in the Pacific Northwest in the relatively near future. And when it happens, a lot of people are going to die. Wouldn't you like to know if you were likely to be one of them?
At Oregon State University’s O.H. Hinsdale Wave Research Laboratory, one of the world’s leading tsunami-research centers, wave hydro­­­logists have run sophisticated ­simu­lations of a CSZ-generated tsunami hitting Seaside, Cannon Beach, and other coastal towns. The findings do not suggest sticking around. “A lot depends on wave speed,” says Solomon Yim, director of the lab. “We found that in some blocks of densely packed houses, the first line of houses took the brunt and the second line was shielded.” The specifics of the tests haven’t been released to the public for fear of causing an upheaval in the local real estate market. “If your building was one that did not survive the simulated tsunami,” says Yim, “it would be … not so good for the resale value, you see.”
Does anyone else have a problem with a state-funded research lab withholding potentially lifesaving information because it might mess with the property values of established interests? Just me? Okay.
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