Ratchet files: the Daily Mail gives earthquake survival advice

Behold, the Most Unhelpful Quack-Scientific Article Ever about the Big Earthquake just waiting (for the past 70 years) to hit the West Coast of the States and Canada. Shout out to the writer of the Daily Mail, Mia de Graff, who includes such non-sarcastic soundbites as (emphasis is my own):

“When – not if – it arrives, it is unlikely the people of coastal Oregon, Washington and California will be able to escape. But if they want to try, there are a few tips they should keep in mind.”

It is difficult to predict whether or not a huge portion of the affected population will want to survive a natural disaster; maybe a whole cross-section of demographics have a deep-seated desire to play in lava, and work on their swimming skills in very very hot liquids? MAYBE. IT IS A POSSIBILITY.

“Geographers estimate that many could survive just by walking – however, they need to be going at least 3.5mph. If everyone ups their average speed from 2.5mph to 3.5mph, the death toll drops to 15,970. About 70 per cent of them would be in Washington, nearly 30 per cent in Oregon and only 4 per cent in California.”

Mia, that’s a pretty specific statistic when you aren’t even sure people will be wanting to try escape. I feel there is a certain amount of information lacking in these sentences. What is the starting death rate? I need a point of comparison to gage whether or not I am willing to walk faster than 2.5mph. WHAT ARE MY ODDS HERE? WALKING IS HARD WORK.

“’When that tsunami is coming, you run,’ Jay Wilson, the chair of the Oregon Seismic Safety Policy Advisory Commission, tells the New Yorker. ‘You protect yourself, you don’t turn around, you don’t go back to save anybody. You run for your life.’”

WAIT A MINUTE. WHO SAID ANYTHING ABOUT RUNNING?! Thanks for changing EVERYTHING, Jay Wilson!! Now I have to start over my decision matrix. 

“The only other safety measure is to relocate away from the Pacific north west. That is where the advice ends.”

I’m confused. Where was the advice?



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