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Japan's Earthquake: Lessons For Oregon


Over the last 25 years, Oregon Field Guide has documented the evolution in understanding the earthquake threat Oregon faces. Scientists now think there’s a 1 in 3 chance of a magnitude 8 or 9 earthquake striking off our coast within the next 50 years. But what can we do about it? Can we better prepare?

The disaster prevention center established by the Japanese town of Minamisanriku, red at center, was inundated by water when a tsunami swept the community March 11, 2011.

The disaster prevention center established by the Japanese town of Minamisanriku, red at center, was inundated by water when a tsunami swept the community March 11, 2011.

Provided by Shinichi Sato and ADK

With the Unprepared series, OPB is shining a spotlight on Oregon’s earthquake preparedness. As part of that effort, Field Guide’s Ed Jahn and Todd Sonflieth traveled to Japan to explore lessons Oregon can learn from Japan’s experience during and after a magnitude 9 earthquake and tsunami struck there  in 2011.

To find out more about earthquakes and what Oregon can do to prepare for them, check out these resources from Unprepared:

What’s My Risk?
Search by city or address to find risky buildings and tsunami inundation zones near you.

Japan Earthquake Holds Lessons For Oregon Coast
Learn how advanced engineering and a location just outside of the tsunami zone allowed the Ishinomaki Red Cross Hospital in Japan to survive the magnitude 9 earthquake of March 11, 2011.

How Powerful is a 9.0 Earthquake?
Just how much more energy is released during a 9.0 compared to lesser magnitude earthquakes? It’s more than you think.

Q&A: A Japanese Mayor On Tsunami Response Lessons For Oregon
Jin Sato, mayor of Minamisanriku, Japan, was one of only 10 people to survive the tsunami surge that engulfed the three-story disaster prevention center where he was working. He discussed the lessons the community of Minamisanriku has learned as they’ve worked to recover from the disaster that upended their lives four years ago.

Politicians Agree More Money Needed For Earthquake Preparedness - But How Much?
Most Oregon politicians agree something needs to be done this legislative session to prepare for a big earthquake. But the question is: How much money is being discussed?


Producer: Ed Jahn
Videographer: Todd Sonflieth
Editor: Todd Sonflieth, Michael Bendixen
Associate Producer: Ann McGarry
Special Thanks: Shinichi Sato, ADK (Japan), Ishinomaki Gas, Mr. Katsuya Oikawa, Sendai Airport, Terry Turner, DOD News, Staff Sgt. Daniel Shapiro/U.S. Army Japan, DOD News, Staff Sgt. Jeff Howerton/374th Airlift Wing/United States Air Force, DOD News, Oman Diaz via Youtube, Tohoku Regional Bureau, Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism





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Part of Episode

Japan's Earthquake: Lessons for Oregon; Ross Island; Steens Aspen (2611)

Oregon Field Guide: Episode #2611
Original Broadcast: March 26, 2015