DISASTERS

Responders hone parachuting, other skills at doomsday drill

  • Members of the Washington National Guard look at screens showing a map of damage to roads following a simulated earthquake and tsunami, Thursday, June 9, 2016, in Shelton, Wash. Officials in the Pacific Northwest have been rehearsing scenarios on how the region would deal with a dual natural disaster that could kill thousands, cut off coastal communities, and collapse phone and internet service. (AP Photo/Rachel La Corte)

    Members of the Washington National Guard look at screens showing a map of damage to roads following a simulated earthquake and tsunami, Thursday, June 9, 2016, in Shelton, Wash. Officials in the Pacific Northwest have been rehearsing scenarios on how the region would deal with a dual natural disaster that could kill thousands, cut off coastal communities, and collapse phone and internet service. (AP Photo/Rachel La Corte)  (The Associated Press)

  • Washington National Guard Lt. Col. Adam Iwaszuk shows a map of operations for an earthquake and tsunami drill at the Mason County Fairgrounds in Shelton, Wash., Thursday, June 9, 2016. The area has been converted into a staging area with hundreds of members of the National Guard, a tactical operations center, a trauma center and various equipment, including decontamination trucks. (AP Photo/Rachel La Corte)

    Washington National Guard Lt. Col. Adam Iwaszuk shows a map of operations for an earthquake and tsunami drill at the Mason County Fairgrounds in Shelton, Wash., Thursday, June 9, 2016. The area has been converted into a staging area with hundreds of members of the National Guard, a tactical operations center, a trauma center and various equipment, including decontamination trucks. (AP Photo/Rachel La Corte)  (The Associated Press)

  • A member of the National Guard walks by a medium tactical vehicle that can be used for decontamination, on Thursday, June 9, 2016, in Shelton, Wash. Washington is participating in a multiday earthquake and tsunami readiness drill in the Pacific Northwest called Cascadia Rising. (AP Photo/Rachel La Corte)

    A member of the National Guard walks by a medium tactical vehicle that can be used for decontamination, on Thursday, June 9, 2016, in Shelton, Wash. Washington is participating in a multiday earthquake and tsunami readiness drill in the Pacific Northwest called Cascadia Rising. (AP Photo/Rachel La Corte)  (The Associated Press)

The parachutes slowly float down from Chinook helicopters, first carrying boxes of supplies, and later, paratroopers who use those supplies to set up a field operations center as part of a readiness drill for a megaquake and tsunami.

Thursday's exercise was part of a four-day event that ends Friday, called Cascadia Rising, built around the premise of a 9.0 magnitude earthquake 95 miles off of the coast of Oregon that results in a tsunami. Both events would likely destroy buildings, roads and buildings and disrupt communications.

As part of the drill, the airfield and adjoining Mason County Fairgrounds has been converted into a staging area with hundreds of members of the National Guard, a tactical operations center where officials communicate directly with officials at Camp Murray, a trauma center and various equipment, including decontamination trucks.