One of the best ways to motivate people to act is with a good story. For people in the Pacific Northwest, this is a hell of a story.
“It breaks my heart to go out and tell people, ‘Hey, you know that place your grandparents immigrated to, the place you call home, that seaside cottage? Well, it turns out to be a high-risk disaster zone. Yeah. We get a massive earthquake every 300 to 500 years around here, and we’re due. They’re super bad. When it comes, it’s a monster. A full-rip nine.’ ”
By “full-rip nine” Corcoran means a magnitude-9.0 earthquake, the kind of massive offshore temblor that triggered the tsunami that killed 28,050 people in Japan on March 11, 2011. Geologists call them megaquakes. Geologists also call the Northwest coast of North America—from Vancouver Island down to Northern California—one of the likeliest next victims.