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on The Big One
I've added to my comments from your December show, "Is Oregon Prepared." They apply equally to this topic.
A Cascadia Subduction Zone (CSZ) earthquake (the really big one) will be larger than anything California will ever experience and we're within the window right now for this to occur. This event will directly affect 10 million people from northern California to southern British Columbia and will impact the economies of the USA and Canada for decades.
Transportation corridors will cease to exist (Hwy 101, I-5, I-84). Coastal communities will be isolated from the valley and from each other. Power, gas, communications gone for days or weeks. Thousands injured, tens of thousands displaced.
And we all need to get real, because it's not just about you. It's your family and friends, your neighborhood, your community, where you work, where you worship... and new research suggests the chances of this happening may be much higher that we thought...
Many communities take preparedness very seriously, especially at the coast, where they are vulnerable to both a CSZ earthquake and the subsequent tsunami (think Indian Ocean and 250,000 people dead from the tsunami), but for the most part, Oregon is woefully under-prepared.
We've really only known that we have this massive threat (CSZ) sitting off our coast for about the last 20 years and the state and local communities have only been working on preparing for the eventual magnitude 9+ earthquake and tsunami for about the last 15 years.
Preparedness is not a short term fix, but a long term project, whether you're a family or a state. For example, Oregon hopes to have all vulnerable schools seismically strengthened by 2032.
Ultimately, preparedness is a personal responsibility. When we get the big one, nobody is riding in on a white horse to save you (think Katrina), in fact 80% of all rescues in an earthquake are done by your neighbors.
James Roddey (503) 807-8343
Earth Sciences Information Officer
Oregon Department of Geology
posted 3 years, 1 month ago
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