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

Earthquakes Rattle Southern Oregon Coast

By Bryan M. Vance (OPB)
Portland, Oregon Sept. 25, 2016 4:56 p.m.

A pair of moderate earthquakes rattled the coast of Southern Oregon and Northern California late Saturday evening and early Sunday morning, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

Unprepared: Will We Be Ready For The Megaquake In Oregon? A magnitude 5.0 quake occurred in the Pacific Ocean

nearly 100 miles off the coast of Gold Beach, Oregon, around 10:01 p.m. Saturday. A magnitude 4.6 quake rumbled nearly 100 miles off the coast of Brookings, Oregon, nearly five hours later.

The first quake occurred about 6.2 miles down in the ocean floor. The second earthquake occurred further down, about 10 miles beneath the Earth's surface.


Neither of the quakes prompted tsunami advisories for coastal communities, according to the National Weather Service's Tsunami.gov.

While both of these quakes were moderate in strength, news of an earthquake near Oregon is always sure to spark interest as the scientific community has become more aware of a pending Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake. The fault, which lies just off the coast of the Pacific Northwest, is long overdue for a massive earthquake, according to experts. Many predict it could be as strong as a magnitude 9.0 when it eventually hits (this video explains the significance of that number).

The last major Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake

struck at approximately 9 p.m. on Jan. 26, 1700

and was between a magnitude 8 or 9, according to historical research.

New analysis by researchers in Oregon, Spain and British Columbia, Canada, suggest that the massive quakes on the northern sections of the Cascadia Subduction Zone happen more frequently than what was previously believed. OPB documented the science behind predicting the next big quake and how the Pacific Northwest can prepare in a documentary and online education portal "Unprepared." We also provide tips and advice on how to prepare for a major natural disaster, including how to store water.