No subduction earthquake?


I heaved a longed-for sigh of relief after reading the lead, above-the-fold, story in the May 3 Daily World, “A second oil plan clears hurdle.” Brian Shay assured us, by signing the “Mitigated Determination of Non-significance” for the Imperium Renewables oil shipment and storage project, that there will never be a subduction earthquake in Grays Harbor with its attendant liquifaction and tsunami. Thanks Brian. I didn’t know that our city manager had the necessary qualifications to make that determination, but I’ll just trust him. It is, after all, his signature on the dotted line. We made a good choice for city manager evidently, getting a geologist and earthquake expert.

Now that that worry about a projected subduction earthquake is assuaged, I’m sure that we will soon see the dismantling of the tsunami warning sirens erected in Grays Harbor County and the taking-down of all the evacuation route signs that have, for too long, littered our highways. What a waste that preparedness has been. Surely now there is no need for warning sirens, for planning for a subduction earthquake, or signs notifying us of evacuation routes since there is no longer a danger of a subduction earthquake several miles off our coast. Brian Shay just has assured us. There is no danger of millions of gallons of oil contaminating our harbor in the event of a subduction earthquake since there will never be a subduction earthquake, no liquifaction that could destroy the holding tanks and no tsunami. Brian Shay assured us — there is no environmental significance to building oil storage and shipment facilities in Grays Harbor.

Thank you Brian and Jack Durney. I’m now almost over my chicken-little alarmism. I’ll be coming down to city hall to check Brian Shay’s credentials, just in cast, to get over my last doubts. I still have this little worry, in the back of my head, that says I should trust the scientists who have warned us about subduction earthquakes. Probably just my paranoia.

Gary Murrell

Hoquiam