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by Michelle Ferris on Oct 07, 2014

Earthquakes in the Northwest

The tragic 9.0 magnitude earthquake in Japan in 2011 reminds those in the Pacific Northwest that we could face the same kind of disaster. We live near the Cascadia Subduction Zone, a fault that runs along the coast from BC to northern California. It represents the intersection of two tectonic plates, and when the boundary between them ruptures, huge quakes can result.

The Northwest is more likely to have a higher magnitude earthquake than anywhere else in the U.S., according to Risk Management Solutions. The Pacific Northwest Seismic Network believes the Cascadia Subduction Zone may produce devastating earthquakes of magnitude 9.0 or more.

While we can't control Mother Nature, we can control how prepared we are for an earthquake, and potential tsunami.


Insurance Solutions

PLC Insurance offers Earthquake, Difference in Conditions (DIC), Landslide, and Excess Flood coverage to add to either home insurance or business insurance.


Earthquake Coverage: Protection for physical damage caused by earth movement, including landslide, mud flow, and earth sinking/rising/shifting as a direct and immediate result of an Earthquake.

Difference in Conditions (DIC) Coverage: Expands Earthquake coverage further by adding on coverage for flood, including tsunami and avalanche. Landslide coverage also can be added.

Excess Flood: Available coverage for those who want flood coverage over and above what they have through the National Flood Insurance Program.

Please give us a call to learn how you can better protect your home and/or business at (425)712-3664.


Interesting Facts about Earthquakes in the Northwest:

  • Scientists say that huge earthquakes occur directly on the Cascadia Subduction Zone margin every few hundred years.
  • The most recent Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake was in 1700 and sent a tsunami as far as Japan.
  • Earthquakes happen frequently in the Northwest. They are measured by the Pacific Seismic Network from the University of Washington. You can see the most recent earthquakes on the map at http://www.pnsn.org/recenteqs/latest.htm.
  • Pacific Northwest earthquakes can arise from three distinct sources:
  1. Deep earthquakes beneath the Puget Sound (some have damaged Seattle and Olympia).
  2. Shallow faults can cause intense local shaking and urban areas are especially vulnerable.
  3. An offshore subduction zone fault can cause strong shaking across the entire region.
  • The USGS has a free Earthquake Notification Service that sends you automated notification emails when earthquakes happen in our area. You can sign up at: https://sslearthquake.usgs.gov/ens/.






© 2019, PLC Insurance. The reader assumes all responsibilities for his/her own actions in regards to any items discussed in this report. Adherence to all applicable laws and regulations, federal, state and local, governing the use of any product or service described in this report in the US or any other jurisdiction is the sole responsibility of the reader. The publisher and author assume no responsibility or liability whatsoever on the behalf of the reader of these materials. The reader is encouraged to consult directly with his/her insurance professional.

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