thank you for the thread. As you've said, you are not predicting anything, but on the other hand quite a lot of what you say regarding flooding and
so forth may well be physically possible.
I'll get to that in a minute, but first a question about that man in your Jan 6, 2011 dream: are you able to recall what he looked like? Age, build,
hair colour, whether he had a beard or not? Caucasian, Native American, or other race? I'd be very interested in anything you can offer on this.
Now, to the dreams of buildings falling in Bellevue and the flooding there. I'd like to summarize what's known to be possible, both from the
perspective of a more localized (but strong) quake as well as a megathrust event. You'll doubtless know most or even all of what follows but for some
readers this might be completely new. Some might think that what you dreamed in terms of damage and flooding is completely beyond the realms of
It's very possible, folks. And it has happened before. For interested readers, there are many resources about the faults in the Seattle region. Here
are just a few:
From USGS: Seattle Fault Zone Mapping
Seattle Fault Zone
From PNSN (the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network): Major Faults in the Puget Sound
From the Wiki: The Seattle Fault
As that's a fair bit of reading in itself, here's a shortish summary of the situation. There is a whole mess of faults all through that area and
some of them are capable of producing pretty major quakes all on their own.
For example, one of the main Seattle faults runs east-west, starting SW of Silverdale, goes under Dyes Inlet, under the southern part of Bainbridge
Island then on through Seattle itself, continues on under Mercer Island then passes just south of Bellevue and beneath Lake Sammamish and end a bit
east of there. So, it's pretty long, and as fault length is a main factor in determining potential quake magnitude, it's believed that fault could
produce a quake in the mag 7 range. In fact, up to around a mag 7.7 is considered possible by some researchers. That is a very
(Refer to the USGS "Seattle Fault" report for confirmation.)
Some other faults in the region could possibly do similar, but the added problem is the possibility of faults that no-one knows about yet. This
happens even in regions which are seismically active. For example, such was the case in the last serious quake in Athens, Greece, which had its
epicenter on a previously-unknown fault. When we consider how long the Greeks have been living there, it seems almost incredible that they were
unaware of a deadly fault so close to the capital, but that's what happened. It had probably been pretty quiet for many hundreds or even thousands of
Okay, back to Seattle and Bellevue. Sediment studies indicate that the Seattle fault has had seven mag 7-plus quakes in the past 3500 years or so, but
that doesn't mean they came at nice, regular intervals. The point is though, it's almost a given that as the region is still tectonically active,
another one is likely one day.
So I wonder: if there was a rupture that, say, allowed water to escape from Lake Sammamish, that could cause some serious flooding as the water heads
for the lowest level (in the Sound), especially if there is any uplift on the eastern end of the fault just the other side of the lake, or even
beneath it. Trouble is, scientists have very little data about the central and eastern parts of the fault.
Having said all that, it seems pretty unlikely that modern high-rise buildings would be toppled by even a higher-range mag 7. Flooding? Yes, it's
possible, even without a tsunami. But while some large buildings might collapse, domino-like toppling seems unlikely.
All of the above is just to say that your own surmise seems likely: your dream was most probably about a mag 9 or bigger megathrust event than a
localized, mag 7-range event. A mag 9 is many times more powerful and it could possibly cause major buildings to collapse, even if they are some miles
from the epicenter. We really don't know what would happen in a place like Seattle because it's been 311 years since the last mag 9 megathrust quake
in the region on January 26, 1700.
So, what to make of it? For anyone in that region I'd say take note of what's possible but don't be ruled by it. Do as OnTheLookout has done: be
prepared as best you can, have your plans worked out in advance with your families, and live for today.