Our Lahar Report is Tops!

The stats have been tallied and we (DNR Geology) were responsible for the most popular DNR news release of 2012!

According to the DNR communications department, our June 6, 2012 news brief titled “Mount Rainier lahar losses could reach $6 billion or more in Puyallup Valley” received the most hits (at almost 3500) of any www.dnr.wa.gov link during 2012. The news release summarized the findings of DNR hazard geologists Recep Cakir and Timothy Walsh from their official report “Loss Estimation Pilot Project for Lahar Hazards from Mount Rainier, Washington” (click here to download the full report in PDF). This report garnered much public interest and was highlighted by various local media organizations due to its emphasis on potential lahar damage costs that could result from a Mount Rainier lahar event in the Puyallup Valley. The results documented in the report were obtained through compilation and modeling of data using the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) multi-hazard model, HAZUS-MH.

The work of Cakir and Walsh not only resulted in the report, but also in a dedicated lahar interactive map theme that is hosted on our geologic information portal. The “Mount Rainier Lahar (Volcanic Mudflow) Hazards – Property at Risk” theme allows users to investigate impacts generated by the lahar models on their own areas of interest through use of the portal’s locator and identification tools.

Well done to DNR geologists for their part in achieving this unusual accolade!