Anniversary of the “Big One”
Sunday, Jan. 26, marked the anniversary of the great Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake that shook the Pacific Northwest on Jan. 26, 1700. The magnitude 9.0 “megathrust” quake struck off the coastline of Oregon, Washington, Northern California and Br itish Columbia. Scientists believe Oregon is within a window of time where another massive earthquake could occur. “We know a major earthquake and tsunami similar to the one that struck of the coast of Japan could hit Oregon at any time,” said Althea Rizzo, Geologic Hazards Program Coordinator for the Office of Emergency Management. The Cascadia Subduction Zone is recognized as one of the world’s most dangerous faults, posing a significant earthquake hazard for Oregon and other Western States. Many of the region’s most highly populated cities including Portland, Oregon, Seattle, Washington, and Vancouver in British Columbia would be effected. Experts say impacts to the Oregon Coast would be similar to that along the coastline of Japan after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, and are encouraging individuals, families and communities to prepare. Rizzo said there are many actions that can be taken to prepare for the next earthquake including talking with your family about an emergency plan, creating a supply cache, and learning basic first aid skills. To learn more about the threat in Oregon and find resources that can help you prepare go to: http://www.oregon.gov/OMD/OEM/Pages/preparedness_information.aspx at Oregon Office of Emergency Management website or the American Red Cross website at http://www.redcross.org/prepare/disaster/earthquake.
Lessons on Preparedness from Historic Earthquake
On the anniversary of Oregon’s last devastating earthquake, residents have been asked to spend time preparing for the next Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake – which could strike anytime. At 9 p.m. on January 26, 1700, a magnitude 9.0 earthquake struck, causing untold devastation to the Pacific Northwest coast and the Native American Tribal communities that made the coast their home. The earthquake, centered about 75 miles offshore, ruptured along the 600-mile fault that runs from southern British Columbia to Northern California. Scientific research in Oregon, Washington and Japan indicates that while the 1700 earthquake is the most recent, it certainly won’t be the last. The destruction caused in Japan in 2011 by the similar magnitude 9.0 earthquake and the tsunami it generated provides a chilling parallel to what could happen here in Oregon. “With a geologic record of great offshore earthquakes that goes back at least 10,000 years, we know they occur about every 300 to 600 years,” says Ian Madin, chief scientist with the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries (DOGAMI). “It is a matter of when, not if, the next one will strike.” This January 26, Oregonians can take time to prepare their families and homes: * Evaluate your home and plan to correct problems. Look for hazards, such as unsecured shelves and fixture, and weaknesses such as inadequate foundations. * Create a family disaster plan. Plan how you’ll communicate and reconnect after an earthquake. * Prepare disaster kits. Create kits for office, car and home. The home kit should include everything you need, including food, water, and medical supplies, for 2-3 weeks of self-sufficiency. * Practice drop, cover, and hold on. * Explore preparedness resources from the Oregon Office of Emergency Management and the American Red Cross. * If you live on the coast, review your tsunami evacuation route (http://www.oregongeology.org/tsuclearinghouse/pubs-evacbro.htm) Oregon coastal towns are most vulnerable to a Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake. Since 2009, the Tsunami Outreach Oregon campaign has been working to make Oregon coastal communities aware and prepared. Efforts have included door-to-door education campaigns, distribution of maps and preparedness materials, and conducting tsunami evaluation drills. The goal is building a sustainable, volunteer-based, tsunami mitigation effort in coastal communities. “All Oregonians need to know that strong shaking felt on the coast means to evacuate immediately, and all coastal residents should know where to go and how to get there,” says Madin. Tsunami preparedness resources for coastal residents, visitors, kids and teachers, and community planners are available on the Oregon Tsunami Clearinghouse at www.OregonTsunami.org. Resources include evacuation brochures, maps, videos, planning tools and more. The Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries is an independent agency of the State and has a broad responsibility in developing an understanding of the state’s geologic resources and natural hazards. The Department then makes this information available to communities and individuals to help inform and reduce the risks from natural hazards, such as earthquakes, tsunamis, landslides, floods and volcanic eruptions. The Department assists in the formulation of state policy where an understanding of geologic materials, geologic resources, processes, and hazards is key to decision-making. The Department is also the lead state regulatory agency for mining, oil, gas and geothermal exploration, production and reclamation. Learn more at www.OregonGeology.org