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Prepping for a Pacific NW Tsunami

OPB | March 12, 2012 9:40 a.m. | Updated: Sept. 10, 2013 11:19 p.m.

From his office window in Astoria, Patrick Corcoran can almost see the Pacific Ocean, which would devastate many coastal communities if a tsunami hit. His job as a coastal hazards specialist for Oregon State University takes him to communities all over the region. He asks if they are ready for a tsunami; an event that scientists say will certainly come — the only question is when. He helps these communities come up with strategies to prepare.

Corcoran just returned from a disaster symposium in Japan. He says the fact that 90 percent of those in the Japanese tsunami inundation zone survived indicates how well prepared they were. If a similar event happened here, he says, the survival rate would be dramatically lower.

Do you live in a coastal community? Are you clear on what to do in case of a tsunami? What questions do you have for a preparedness expert?


  • Patrick Corcoran: Oregon State University’s coastal hazards specialist

 Patrick Corcoran took pictures of towns in Japan that were hit hard by the 2011 tsunami:


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