My novel The Great Seattle Earthquake dramatizes what would happen if a quake of magnitude 7.8 should strike the Seattle Fault. I researched the book heavily before writing, and it looks like I got it right. A report, newly released by Washington State’s Department of Natural Resources, describes a quake of 7.5 and the incredible inundation that would strike the city’s waterfront several minutes later.
Although the map is a little too detailed for easy reading, let me point out that the wave would reach heights of 23 feet in Seattle’s Central Waterfront, and a whopping 42 feet at the Great Ferris Wheel! Wow! That’s almost worse than I had written about. Almost.
Actually, I’d say my own personal tsunami “model,” which I made up to help me imagine the human dramas that would take place, was a pretty good estimate of how bad things could get. So it’s also fair to say my book, published in 2019, remains an accurate dramatization of the horrors and heroisms of that day.
Washington DNR has done their duty to shake up the complacency of people who live on or near the Seattle Fault. But they need some help driving home just how tough it could be for waterfront homeowners, first responders, baseball stadium crowds, people traveling on freeway bridges or–gulp–entering the waterfront Highway 99 tunnel. All this and much more is dramatized in great detail in my novel. If you haven’t checked it out yet, it might be time to, huh? Here’s a LINK to booksellers who can provide a copy for you.