Oregon’s geology agency has published the first of more than 80 maps meant to chart tsunami dangers on Oregon’s coast.
It shows that a tsunami generated by a Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake would push ocean water much farther inland than one generated by a bigger, but faraway earthquake.
Ian Madin is the chief scientist at the Department of Geology and Mineral Industries. He says the maps are meant to advise local residents, visitors —- and officials.
Madin says, “I’m not sure exactly how local communities will respond to this, but they very clearly need to distinguish between distant tsunamis – from Japan, Alaska, Kamchatka – and local tsunamis. The distant tsunamis arrive with hours of warning and are much smaller than any of the local tsunamis.”
Madin points out that local tsunamis give coastal residents just minutes to reach higher ground. He says people will know of a locally-generated tsunami on the Oregon Coast, when they feel the ground shake. Madin suggests Coos Bay residents use the new maps to plan evacuation routes. He expects to publish additional tsunami maps every few weeks, over the next two years.
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