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People Are Freaking Out After The "New Yorker" Warned An Earthquake Will Likely Someday Destroy Seattle

Sorry, Mom, I'm never coming back to the West Coast.

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On Monday, The New Yorker published an article by staff writer Kathryn Schulz titled "The Really Big One."

An earthquake will destroy a big portion of the coastal Northwest. The only question is when: http://t.co/HfDS0HS6qi

The article explains that seismologists have determined that parts of the West Coast of the U.S., including Oregon and Washington, are due to be hit by an earthquake and tsunami that will completely devastate the region.

It's difficult to pick just one paragraph from this incredibly terrifying and well-written story, but this sort of sums it up:

To see the full scale of the devastation when that tsunami recedes, you would need to be in the international space station. The inundation zone will be scoured of structures from California to Canada. The earthquake will have wrought its worst havoc west of the Cascades but caused damage as far away as Sacramento, California—as distant from the worst-hit areas as Fort Wayne, Indiana, is from New York. FEMA expects to coordinate search-and-rescue operations across a hundred thousand square miles and in the waters off four hundred and fifty-three miles of coastline. As for casualties: the figures I cited earlier—twenty-seven thousand injured, almost thirteen thousand dead—are based on the agency's official planning scenario, which has the earthquake striking at 9:41 A.M. on February 6th. If, instead, it strikes in the summer, when the beaches are full, those numbers could be off by a horrifying margin.

Schulz also writes that this event could happen a thousand years from now, or could happen tomorrow. "Our operating assumption is that everything west of Interstate 5 will be toast,” a FEMA official told her.

Needless to say, people started really freaking out.

Trying to calm my nerves about an earthquake destroying Seattle, @TravisMayfield said "at least all ur friends and family will be dead too."

Like, they are really scared.

Reading about the earthquake that's gonna destroy Seattle in a building that looks like http://t.co/H6RFbvGjRX

It's hard to overhype how scary it is.

That new Yorker article is so scary if I lived in the pac-northwest I'd really think about moving. (Btw I live in nor cal so, you know)

Some people tried to lighten the mood with a Grey's Anatomy joke.

man, meredith grey is going to have a really rough day when that seattle earthquake hits.

But mostly everyone was just scared out of their minds.

Cool timing on this piece about Seattle's inevitable destruction-by-earthquake, my parents are moving there next wkd. http://t.co/r49bpeWIJ9

Maybe ignorance is bliss?

big mistake reading that seattle earthquake story big mistake

The hype got so big, people wondered if the story could impact the real estate market.

I wonder if Seattle real estate prices are going to fall through the floor with all the earthquake talk.

But there was some optimism. Matt Pearce of the Los Angeles Times wondered if the story could stir some improvements in earthquake preparedness in the Pacific Northwest.

By scaring the total hell out of everyone, this piece on the destruction of Seattle is public-service journalism. http://t.co/kbyiuUbLKm

As for Schulz, she tried to lighten the mood a bit.

Really this article was just one long ploy to discourage people from moving to my beloved Oregon: http://t.co/jZRkc1NcgM (I'm kidding.)

BuzzFeed News has reached out to the U.S. Geological Survey to learn more about the potentially impending natural disaster.

Stephanie McNeal is a social news editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.

Contact Stephanie McNeal at stephanie.mcneal@buzzfeed.com.

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