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Simulation shows tsunami waves as high as 42 feet could hit Seattle in minutes should a major earthquake occur on the Seattle Fault

By Amanda Musa, CNN

A simulation released by the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) shows the impact of a 7.5-magnitude earthquake on the Seattle Fault.

“Tsunami waves could be as high as 42 feet at the Seattle Great Wheel and will reach inland as far as Lumen Field and T-Mobile Park,” Washington State DNR said in a tweet Thursday.

The study was prepared by geologists within the Washington Geological Survey division of DNR, according to a news release.

Scientists found that if a magnitude 7.5 earthquake were to occur on the Seattle Fault, tsunami waves over 40 feet tall could reach the Seattle area in fewer than 3 minutes.

“Tsunami inundation and strong currents may continue for more than 3 hours from the start of the earthquake,” according to the news release.

The study shows shoreline flooding and changes to shorelines would occur throughout the Seattle area following such a powerful earthquake.

The last known earthquake on the Seattle Fault happened about 1,100 years ago, the release says.

The study was “conducted to help local and state emergency managers and planners develop and refine response and preparedness plans for a tsunami in the middle of Washington’s largest population center and economic hub,” the release says.

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