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Hollywood blockbuster San Andreas has put sub-oceanic earthquakes and tsunamis in the public consciousness of late, but what if the next "big one" wasn't along the San Andreas fault at all, but rather in the Pacific Northwest? And what if the reportedly inevitable quake was predicted to be "the worst natural disaster in the history of the American continent"?
So predict reports from scientists and FEMA alike. The Cascadia subduction zone, which runs for 700 miles along the coasts of Washington, Oregon, and northern California, is poised for a massive 9.2 quake, which would in turn trigger a tsunami up to 100 feet high.
A recent New Yorker article details the threat, called a full-margin rupture, which would all but obliterate the region, home to more than 7 million, including the cities of Seattle, Tacoma, Olympia, Portland, Salem and Eugene.
According to the article's author, Kathryn Schultz, FEMA predicts that the disaster would kill nearly 13,000, with more than 27,000 injured and 2.5 million in need of food and water from the agency.
A Fox News report indicates that more than 1 million buildings would be destroyed in the disaster, and that the landscape would be unrecognizable thereafter.
"Our operating assumption is that everything west of Interstate 5 will be toast," says Kenneth Murphy, the FEMA director responsible for the region.
Scientists have determined this disaster has occurred regularly every 240 years for the past 10 millennia. The last disaster, which caused a 600-foot-high tsunami to crash into Japan thousands of miles across the Pacific, happened in 1700.
Thus, the Cascadia "big one" is 65 years overdue. And, by all accounts, the millions of people who live in the region are woefully unprepared for it when it finally arrives.
With potential devastation on a biblical scale, could this quake be part of what Jesus predicted for the end times in Matthew 24? Sound off in the comments below.
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