NWS: Buoy ‘event’ off Oregon coast ‘happens every day’

Article claims ocean data buoy is alerting to 'event' in the Cascadia Subduction Zone

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PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A web report about an impending earthquake and tsunami in the Pacific Northwest is alarming Oregonians and causing a frenzy online.

Despite the thousands of shares and retweets the article has received, the National Weather Service wants people to know the information is misleading and there’s nothing to worry about.

The article “US West Coast Earthquake Warning as Cascadia Subduction Zone Surges” posted on the website SuperStation95 claims a data buoy in the Cascadia Subduction Zone recorded a sharp drop in water depth on Monday.

“According to the data buoy, the water column height (depth) fell sharply within minutes off the coast of Oregon, signaling the land beneath the ocean has suddenly ‘sunk,'” the article states.

It went on to say that this type of event is usually followed by a massive earthquake.

But the National Weather Service says not only are these drops normal — happening many times a day — this particular one was only 1 meter, or about 3 feet.

“The moon causes these fluctuations,” NWS Portland Meteorologist Laurel McCoy told KOIN 6 News. “If you take a snippet of any of these fluctuations, it’ll make it seem like something big is happening, whereas if you look at the larger picture you can tell it’s natural and happening every day.”

This instance is a great reminder to always check the credibility of a news source before sharing articles online.

SuperStation95 claims to operate out of New York under the FM radio station 95.1. But according to the FCC, that radio frequency isn’t assigned to anyone in New York.

Other articles posted on the website are what some consider conspiracy posts.