FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) — Parts of Washington state could be submerged under water if a major earthquake struck offshore and created a tsunami.
The Washington State Department of Natural Resources created a simulation to help local emergency management officials.
The simulation used a magnitude 9.0 earthquake along the Cascadia Subduction Zone.
This plate zone runs from northern Vancouver Island to Cape Mendocino, California, falling in the Ring of Fire zone.
The Ring of Fire is the coastline around the Pacific Ocean that's typically active for earthquakes and volcanoes.
According to the Global Historical Tsunami Database, 78% of tsunamis happen in this zone.
Tsunamis are typically generated by earthquakes that are a magnitude of 7.0 or greater.
These earthquakes are located within 62 miles of the earth's surface.
Corina Allen, a chief hazard geologist with the Washington state's DNR, told KOMO-TV that "the highest modeled inundation so far has been in southwest Washington at Damon Point, and there's expected to be about 60 feet of flooding above the previously dry surface."
The last known megathrust earthquake to happen in the Pacific Northwest was in the 1700s, according to the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network.
Historically, very strong earthquakes have happened every 400 to 600 years.
That means a strong earthquake is likely to occur in the future.