The Next Tsunami: Living on a Restless Coast is the gripping story of the geological discoveries and the scientists who uncovered them – that signal the imminence of a catastrophic tsunami on the Northwest Coast.
Henderson will talk about the fateful tsunami that occurred on a March evening in 1964. She will share the stories from locals like a ten-year-old Tom Horning who awoke near midnight to find his yard transformed. A tsunami triggered by Alaska’s momentous Good Friday earthquake had wreaked havoc in his Seaside, Oregon neighborhood. It was, as far as anyone knew, the Pacific Northwest coast’s first-ever tsunami.
More than twenty years passed before geologists discovered that it was neither Seaside’s first nor worst tsunami. In fact, massive tsunamis strike the Pacific Coast every few hundred years, triggered not by distant temblors but by huge quakes less than one hundred miles off the Northwest Coast. Not until the late 1990s would scientists use evidence like tree rings and centuries-old warehouse records from Japan to fix the date, hour, and magnitude of the Pacific Northwest coast’s last megathrust earthquake: 9 p.m., January 26, 1700, magnitude 9.0 – one of the largest quakes the world has known. When the next one strikes – this year or hundreds of years from now – the tsunami it generates is likely to be the most devastating natural disaster in the history of the United States.
Bonnie Henderson will share the stories of scientists like meteorologist Alfred Wegener, who formulated his theory of continental drift while gazing at ice floes calving from Greenland glaciers, and geologist Brian Atwater, who paddled his dented aluminum canoe up coastal streams looking for layers of peat sandwiched among sand and silt.
Henderson’s compelling story of how scientists came to understand the Cascadia Subduction Zone – a fault line capable of producing earthquakes even larger than the 2011 Tohoku quake in Japan – and how ordinary people cope with that knowledge is essential reading for anyone interested in the charged intersection of science, human nature, and public policy.
Join us for a compelling discussion on what will be and how to be prepared. This presentation is FREE and open to the public.
“Brilliantly written… The depth of reportage is impressive.” —William Dietrich, New York Times bestselling author of The Barbed Crown, Emerald Storm, Blood of the Reich, and more
“Henderson has a novelist’s knack for getting into the hearts and minds of her characters, and she makes complex science not only clear but exciting.” —David Laskin, author of The Family and The Children’s Blizzard
Bonnie Henderson’s strong voice and sharp eye bring to life the boots-on-the-ground reality of earthquake science. A valuable addition to any Northwest bookshelf.” —Thomas Hager, author of The Alchemy of Air
“In The Next Tsunami: Living on a Restless Coast, Bonnie Henderson has given us not only the geological history of our coast, but also the stories of the many men and women who have spent their lives discovering this history. This is a must-read for those of us who have chosen the coast to be our home and gives us knowledge to deal with the uncertainty we face here. And as long as Tom Horning lives here, I feel, I too can make it.” —Karen Emmerling, Beach Books, Seaside, Oregon
“The book is a must-add to your shelf of Northwest disaster lit and serves a reminder for those who live on water to head for the high ground when things start to shake. You wont have time to build an ark.” —Knute Berger, Crosscut
“Tension occupies the center of “The Next Tsunami,” which is by turns a story of obsession, a geologic mystery and an inquiry into how we deal with disasters—or, more often, don’t.” —Los Angeles Times