Shaken and stirred

If you think the earthquakes—followed by tsunamis—that hit Chile and Japan in the last year were frightening, wait ’til you get a load of what’s ahead for the West Coast. The longest subduction zone in the world—the Cascadia fault, where the Juan de Fuca and the North American tectonic plates collide—runs from Northern California to British Columbia. A large earthquake there would not only cause major damage in five coastal cities, including Sacramento, but the ensuing tsunami would devastate the entire coast and have global consequences. With maps and photos, Canadian reporter Jerry Thompson puts the history of subduction earthquakes and the resultant tsunamis into clear perspective. In Cascadia’s Fault: The Coming Earthquake and Tsunami That Could Devastate North America, Thompson has written a very readable tale of how plate tectonics and earthquake science works, and what we need to know if we insist on being Left Coasters.