Helpful Misinformation Isn't Helpful

Not every well-meaning effort is good.

by Eric Holdeman / March 13, 2019

Yikes! Let me talk myself down off the ledge and stop from putting the house up for sale. Here I am personally living in the middle of the Disaster Zone that Seattle and everything "west of Seattle" is going to be post-Cascadia Fault Zone earthquake. 

Why might someone be ready to jump and move out of Seattle and western Washington, they watched and listened to Big Earthquake on Cascadia Fault Could Liquefy Ground Under Seattle.

Let's be clear, there are snippets of correct information mixed in with some really wacko stuff. True statement, the speaker says the head person of FEMA Region X (which he does not call 10/ten — but X) did say "everything west of I-5 will be toast," which was an incorrect statement. Thank you Mr. X for fostering bad information in The New Yorker article The Really Big One. So it is hard to fault the reader and this guy for passing along bad information.

But he goes on to take pieces of information and contort them. Yes, there will be liquefaction, but not the entire city of Seattle. Rather, it will be in lowlands, along the shoreline, the area called SoDo south of the city, stadium district, yes — but not all of Seattle.

A devastating tsunami will occur along the west coast of Washington, Oregon, Northern California and British Columbia — not in Puget Sound, the waterway adjacent to Seattle. A Seattle Fault will cause an almost immediate seiche or tsunami in Puget Sound, but that is a different fault system. If you watch this model, you will see that water is not washing all over the entire city.

Is the linked story helpful? I don't think so. There are too many misstatements contained therein that disqualifies all the bits of information that are correct. It is a reminder to all of us about where we should accept help from. And, when asked for a quote for a story, we must be careful in how we choose our words. Mr. X contributed to the negative aspects of the linked video podcast above. 

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