KHQ.COM - The clock is ticking on the next big earthquake in the Pacific Northwest, and experts fear it will be a monster.
Following the deadly magnitude-9.0 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan in March 2011, Oregon legislators commissioned a study of the impact a similar quake could have on the state, according to the Associated Press.
The report, "Oregon Resilience Plan: Reducing Risk and Improving Recovery for the Next Cascadia Earthquake and Tsunami," was presented to legislators Thursday (March 14).
Within its pages is a chilling picture of death and destruction that would cripple the entire Pacific Northwest, from Northern California to British Columbia.
More than 10,000 people killed. Bridges, dams, roadways and buildings —
including Oregon's State Capitol in Eugene — in a state of utter
collapse. No water, electricity, natural gas, heat, telephone service or
gasoline — in some cases, for months. Economic losses in excess of $30
The seismically active region has felt temblors before, most notably a massive earthquake and tsunami in January 1700 that wiped out entire forests in what is now Oregon and Washington and caused a deadly tsunami in Japan, thousands of miles across the Pacific Ocean. [Waves of Destruction: History's Biggest Tsunamis]
"This earthquake will hit us again," Kent Yu, chair of the commission that developed the report, told Oregon legislators, according to the Daily Mail. "It's just a matter of how soon."
That titanic 1700 shaker was a megathrust earthquake on the Cascadia Fault,
a seismic zone that stretches for almost 700 miles (1,100 kilometers)
just off the Pacific Northwest coast. Based on current understanding of
the fault's seismic history, scientists estimate quakes occur along the
line roughly every 240 years.
In other words, another big Cascadia Fault earthquake is "long overdue," the International Science Times reports.
The report also noted that, geologically speaking, Japan and Oregon are
mirror images of each other. There is, however, one important
difference: Japan is much more prepared for earthquakes.
And Oregon is hardly the only region of North America overdue for a
large earthquake: The Lake Tahoe region on the California-Nevada border
is home to the West Tahoe Fault, which generally sees a quake every
3,000 to 4,000 years, and the most recent temblor occurred 4,500 years
Elsewhere in California, the southern San Andreas Fault
last produced a big temblor in 1690, and has been relatively quiet ever
since. That isn't good news, since a major earthquake usually occurs
there every 180 years, according to recent research, and the fault line
now has more than 300 years of pressure built up.
Whereas the West Coast is usually considered the most seismically
active region of North America, the East Coast also has earthquakes,
just not as often. Fault lines have recently been discovered near New
York City, and the Indian Point nuclear power plant, about 24 miles (39
km) north of the city, straddles the previously unidentified
intersection of two active seismic zones.
In virtually all of these regions, preparation for earthquakes has been
woefully inadequate, say many experts. Maree Wacker, chief executive
officer of the American Red Cross of Oregon, laments the state of
readiness: "Oregonians as individuals are underprepared," Wacker told
the Daily Mail.
Sunday, December 8 2013 10:35 AM EST2013-12-08 15:35:28 GMT
Sunday: A fairly compact system cruises through the area. Progressing from mostly cloudy with light snow to partly cloudy.More >>
Sunday: A fairly compact system cruises through the area. Progressing from mostly cloudy with light snow (in easternmost WA/ID Panhandle) to partly cloudy. Expect a dusting to ½" light valley snow & mountain snowfall up to 2". Interstate 90/pass impacts will be minimal. Low/High 0°/14° More >>
Friday, December 6 2013 2:18 PM EST2013-12-06 19:18:21 GMT
KHQ.COM - We all know that passwords protect our personal accounts and information. More >>
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Friday, December 6 2013 2:17 PM EST2013-12-06 19:17:01 GMT
SPOKANE, Wash. - Many airlines have commemorative art they display on their airplanes to pay tribute to various things. More >>
SPOKANE, Wash. - Many airlines have commemorative art they display on their airplanes to pay tribute to various things. Over the past 20 years, KHQ's Reed Schmitt has had a hobby of photographing planes as the fly in and out of Spokane International Airport. Reed sorted through over 30,000 photos to gather all of the planes he photographed that displayed commemorative art.More >>
Friday, December 6 2013 8:58 AM EST2013-12-06 13:58:28 GMT
KHQ.COM - Most of us have experienced this before: We take our children to go see Santa Claus only to have our children scream as if we were abandoning them forever. More >>
KHQ.COM - Most of us have experienced this before: We take our children to go see Santa Claus, hoping to get a wonderful photo for the family Christmas card, only to have our children scream as if we were abandoning them forever. Here are some great photos of these moments captured in time.More >>