Tsunami maps show low chance of reaching high ground

October 12, 2019 GMT

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Washington has released tsunami safety maps for Port Townsend, Ilwaco, Long Beach, Seaview and Westport.

The Northwest News Network reports the maps indicate how much time people have to get to safety before a tsunami hits following a magnitude 9 earthquake along the Cascadia subduction zone.

Some of the maps indicate there is almost no chance of reaching safety in the necessary time.

For example, in Westport people would have only 15 minutes to get out. All of the walking routes would take longer than that. And, officials say, with roads and bridges out after a quake walking may be the only option.

Department of Natural Resources chief hazards geologist Corinna Forsen says the maps provide routes to safety but also hopefully instigate communities and the state to recognize that this is a life safety issue and other solutions such as enclosed vertical evacuation towers should be considered.