Unprepared: Will We Be Ready For The Megaquake In Oregon?

A magnitude 9.0 earthquake off the Northwest coast could hit at any time. How can we prepare for this impending and unpredictable disaster?

Oregon’s been awarded $350,000 by the National Tsunami Hazard Mitigation Program to increase resilience in coastal communities.

The money will be used to add 100 ‘Tsunami Hazard Zone’ signs along Highway 101 and to improve evacuation routes — so people can get to high ground quickly in the event of a tsunami.

Jonathan Allan with the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries said they will also to use the money to model what happens to ships and fishing boats when a tsunami hits the Columbia River.

“If you’re already within the lower estuary, are there options? Go upriver? Where do you need to go? How quickly is it going to take you to get up those areas?” Allan said.

Some of the money will be used to provide the hotel industry with training to increase awareness among staff and visitors.

There’s a 20 percent chance the Oregon coast will be hit by a large earthquake in the next 50 years.