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Area well into worst-case earthquake disaster window

Sunday, Jan. 26, marked the anniversary of the great Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake that shook the Pacific Northwest on Jan. 26, 1700. The magnitude 9.0 “megathrust” quake struck off the coastline of Oregon, Washington, northern California and British Columbia.

Scientists believe Oregon is within a window of time where another massive earthquake could occur.

“We know a major earthquake and tsunami similar to the one that struck off the coast of Japan could hit Oregon at any time,” said Althea Rizzo, geologic Hazards program coordinator for the Office of Emergency Management.

The Cascadia Subduction Zone is recognized as one of the world’s most dangerous faults, posing a significant earthquake hazard for Oregon and other Western states. Many of the region’s most highly populated cities — including Portland and Seattle, as well as Vancouver in British Columbia, Canada, would be affected. Experts say the impacts to the Oregon coast would be similar to that along the coastline of Japan after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, and are encouraging individuals, families and communities to prepare.

Rizzo said there are many actions that can be taken to prepare for the next earthquake, including talking with your family about an emergency plan, creating a supply cache and learning basic first aid skills.

To learn more about the threat in Oregon and find resources to help you prepare, go to the Oregon Office of Emergency Management’s website or the American Red Cross website.

“Prepare now and be your own survival story,” said Rizzo.



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