I was blissfully unaware of the Juan de Fuca Plate tectonic plate, the edge of which runs alongside the Seattle coast, when I moved here in 2000. That did not last long, because in 2001 there was a 6.8 magnitude earthquake in Washington State, the Nisqually earthquake. It was deep down and caused some property damage but there were no casualties. A new compelling article by Kathryn Schulz in The New Yorker with alarmist undertones and cataclysmic scenarios reminds us of the 9.0 magnitude Cascadia earthquake from Jan 26, 1700. And that the area is overdue for the next 9.0 earthquake. The logic is irrefutable : ‘ .. we now know that the Pacific Northwest has experienced forty-one subduction-zone earthquakes in the past ten thousand years. If you divide ten thousand by forty-one, you get two hundred and forty-three, which is Cascadia’s recurrence interval: the average amount of time that elapses between earthquakes. That timespan is dangerous both because it is too long—long enough for us to unwittingly build an entire civilization on top of our continent’s worst fault line—and because it is not long enough. Counting from the earthquake of 1700, we are now three hundred and fifteen years into a two-hundred-and-forty-three-year cycle.