One of the things I enjoy about living in Washington, specifically eastern Washington, is that I don't have to be too terribly concerned with natural disasters. That's not to say Washington is completely immune to acts of God. After all, the deadliest avalanche in American history took place in Washington.

Photo by Colin Lloyd on Unsplash
Photo by Colin Lloyd on Unsplash
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I remember visiting my in-laws in Houston the Christmas right after Hurricane Harvey ravaged Texas. I was stunned to hear most of the people in nearby neighborhoods didn't have flood insurance, which is just insane to me. I was glad I lived in Washington, where there is zero fear of hurricanes. That's not to say Washington is completely immune, however, as the Pacific Northwest gets its own brand of cyclones, but that's for a different story.

Photo by Pawel Czerwinski on Unsplash
Photo by Pawel Czerwinski on Unsplash
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What environmental flare-ups is Washington prone to getting?

Aside from the tsunami risk for towns along the Washington coast and the impending 300-year earthquake, dubbed the Cascadia Quake, Washington is pretty mild. There is the rare tornado that hits and obviously, we do have wildfire risks. But you'd be surprised to find Washington has quite a bit of earthquake activity.

Photo by Parker Johnson on Unsplash
Photo by Parker Johnson on Unsplash
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How many earthquakes does Washington get?

As of this writing, Washington has experienced 458 earthquakes in 2022. The nice thing is that you'd never even notice most of them as they tend to be under 2 on the Richter scale. In fact, Umatilla had one last week, and while I know Umatilla is in Oregon, it is very close to Tri-Cities, Washington and its surrounding metro. The biggest earthquake Washington has had this year was a 3.7.

Photo by Nadiia Ganzhyi on Unsplash
Photo by Nadiia Ganzhyi on Unsplash
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What's the biggest earthquake in modern Washington history?

While the biggest earthquake in Washington state history was the Cascadia quake of 1700, Washington has had two major quakes in Puget Sound in the last 100 years. In 1965, a 6.7 magnitude earthquake killed seven people near Seattle. In 2001, the Nisqually earthquake had a magnitude of 6.8, causing at least $1 billion in damages. In 1949, one heroic boy gave his life to save another student as the Olympia earthquake shook western Washington. Marvin Klegman has a statue in his honor at the school he attended and provided volunteer safety patrol for.

LOOK: The most expensive weather and climate disasters in recent decades

Stacker ranked the most expensive climate disasters by the billions since 1980 by the total cost of all damages, adjusted for inflation, based on 2021 data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The list starts with Hurricane Sally, which caused $7.3 billion in damages in 2020, and ends with a devastating 2005 hurricane that caused $170 billion in damage and killed at least 1,833 people. Keep reading to discover the 50 of the most expensive climate disasters in recent decades in the U.S.

 

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