earthquake

The Washington National Guard -- joined by officers from Oregon and Idaho -- are preparing for a massive military relief effort.

A scene from a simulation by the Washington State Department of Transportation of what could happen if a massive earthquake hits the Alaskan Way Viaduct.
YouTube/WSDOT

Most of us in Seattle aren't ready for The Big One.

Eric Holdeman, former director of the King County Office of Emergency Management, said we shouldn’t expect outsiders to swoop in and save us when a long-anticipated massive earthquake hits (and it will hit, we just don’t know when).

Several days after a devastating earthquake hit Nepal, officials are using helicopters to ferry aid to remote areas — and thousands of people are leaving Kathmandu, where many had sought refuge. Rescue crews are still working to help survivors of the 7.8-magnitude quake.

Reporting from the district of Gorkha, the epicenter of Saturday's tremor, NPR's Julie McCarthy says, "When we arrived last night, you could feel the ground shaking constantly. It felt like Jello, and it lasted through the evening."

Researchers at the U.S. Geological Survey are trying to figure out whether smartphones might be used to give earthquake warnings.

People standing above the epicenter of a large earthquake will feel the ground shaking before those on the periphery of the quake. The same can be said of their smartphones.

Ben Brooks with the USGS says if a computer was checking for simultaneous movement of a large number of smartphones, it could give people on the periphery of a quake a 10 or 20 second warning.

That's enough time to stop a surgeon from making a cut, he said.

If you’ve spent any time on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter in recent days, you will likely have noticed special attention given to the massive earthquake in Nepal on Saturday that left more then 5,000 people dead.

That attention goes beyond the phenomenon of global communications. Facebook and Google are making it easier for survivors to be identified, while Apple and PayPal are streamlining the donation process.

Aftershocks following Saturday's magnitude-7.8 quake in Nepal are jangling nerves and complicating rescue operations. So far, there have been more than a dozen quakes of magnitude 5 or higher, and another two dozen between magnitude 4.5 and 5.

Akshar Koirala, 7, of Renton, prays with the Nepali community in Bothell following the 7.8-magnitude earthquake.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

Bells rang out at a temple in Bothell on Sunday, where more than a hundred came to pray, light candles and share updates about the massive earthquake in Nepal.

An estimated 3,000 to 4,000 Nepalese people live in the Seattle area, and many are turning to each other for support. Officials have confirmed that more than 5,000 people died in the 7.8-magnitude earthquake.

In this photo provided by Azim Afif a man approaches the scene after an avalanche triggered by a massive earthquake swept across Everest Base Camp, Nepal on Saturday, April 25, 2015.
Azim Afif via AP

Authorities in Nepal say nearly 1,900 people are confirmed dead following a powerful earthquake near the capital Kathmandu, where homes and ancient temples collapsed amid the intense temblor and strong aftershocks.

Dozens of people in three neighboring countries were also killed. At least eight were reported dead on Mount Everest, and perhaps dozens more trapped by a quake-triggered avalanche that hit the world's tallest peak at the height of the climbing season.

Updated at 11:10 p.m. ET

The desperate search for survivors continues Sunday in Nepal. Strong aftershocks woke thousands of Nepalese who were forced to spend the cold night outdoors.

A magnitude-3.0 earthquake is small, but most people can feel it. Historically, Oklahoma got less than two of those a year, but in 2013 it became two a week.

It's only gotten more active since then — last year, the state had three times as many earthquakes as in the entire seismically active state of California.

Congressional Democrats from up and down the West Coast are asking the House Appropriations Committee to allocate more money for a new earthquake early warning system.

The warning system uses sensors to detect the initial, less destructive waves of an earthquake.

So it doesn't give much advance notice. Somewhere between a few seconds and a minute.

KUOW Photo/Amy Radil

Early warnings for earthquakes already occur in Japan, and they’re being piloted in California. Now the University of Washington hopes to bring them to the Northwest.

Five years ago today, an earthquake devastated the lives of millions of Haitians. Hundreds of thousands died, and many more were displaced from their homes. Here & Now’s Peter O’Dowd went to Brockton, Mass., to speak with a group of Haitians still struggling to adjust to life in America.

Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch makes a run against the Baltimore Ravens at CenturyLink Field in 2011.
Flickr Photo/JBLM PAO (CC0-BY-NC-ND)

Jeannie Yandel talks to John Vidale who explains how local seismologists are harnessing the power of Seahawks fans to test new earthquake sensor technology. Vidale is a professor of earth and space science at University of Washington and the director of the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network, which allows you to track the shaking of CenturyLink Field during the Seahawks game.

The new federal budget sent to the president's desk over the weekend includes $5 million for earthquake early warning along the West Coast. With this funding, an alert system should begin to roll out regionally next year.

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