Photos: ‘Big One’ drill emphasizes worst-case scenarios

Cascadia Rising ends Friday

Members of the Washington Army National Guard 792nd Chemical Company from Grandview, Wash., demonstrate a decontamination station for people and vehicles, Wednesday, June 8, 2016, in Port Angeles, Wash. The exercise was part of a massive earthquake and tsunami drill called Cascadia Rising, that is built around the premise of a 9.0 magnitude earthquake 95 miles off of the coast of Oregon that results in a tsunami. In the event of an actual tsunami, the soldiers will decontaminate people who come in contact with polluted or hazardous substances stirred up by a tsunami. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

SHELTON, Wash. (AP) – The parachutes slowly float down from Chinook helicopters, first carrying boxes of supplies, and later, paratroopers who use those supplies to set up a field operations center as part of a readiness drill for a megaquake and tsunami.

Thursday’s exercise was part of a four-day event that ends Friday, called Cascadia Rising, built around the premise of a 9.0 magnitude earthquake 95 miles off of the coast of Oregon that results in a tsunami. Both events would likely destroy buildings, roads and buildings and disrupt communications.

As part of the drill, the airfield and adjoining Mason County Fairgrounds has been converted into a staging area with hundreds of members of the National Guard, a tactical operations center where officials communicate directly with officials at Camp Murray, a trauma center and various equipment, including decontamination trucks.

 

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