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Pacific Northwest Earthquake Risk Ripples To DC's Radar


Rep. Suzanne Bonamici, D-Oregon.

Rep. Suzanne Bonamici, D-Oregon.

Office of Rep. Suzanne Bonamici

Oregon Democratic Rep. Suzanne Bonamici said there’s growing awareness in Washington, D.C. that the Pacific Northwest could be hit with a massive earthquake.

Bonamici got her first look at Portland’s Emergency Coordination Center during a tour Monday.

The facility’s state of the art communication system includes enormous television screens and computer servers suspended from the ceiling. They would shake in an earthquake instead of shutting down.

Bonamici said she pushed a tsunami education and warning bill through the House, and it’s now awaiting passage in the Senate.

“The more we can prepare, the more lives we can save, the more property we’ll save and the more money we’ll save by early investment in prevention,” she said.

The U.S. Geological Survey just awarded $4 million to the University of Oregon, California Institute of Technology, University of California, Berkeley and the University of Washington to bring the “ShakeAlert” earthquake warning system into production.

That system could give a 10- or 20-second warning to stop a commuter train or elevator, open fire house doors, stop a delicate surgery or get people to duck, cover and hold in the event of an earthquake in the Pacific Northwest.

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