Task Force Outlines Oregon Earthquake Disaster Plan

Oct 2, 2014

A governor appointed task force drafted recommendations to address the dangers of a major earthquake and tsunami this week at Oregon state university. If enacted, the cost would be 100 million dollars per year. KLCC’s Corinne Boyer reports.

The Oregon Resilience Plan includes 140 recommendations such as reinforcing existing infrastructure and coastal evacuation safety measures. Scott Ashford, dean of the college of engineering at OSU, says Oregon is in a unique position. The Cascadia subduction zone was not scientifically recognized as being capable of generating a major earthquake until the 1980s.

Tsunami warning sign.
Credit OPB

“If you look at the infrastructure that we have—our built environment, our buildings, our bridges, our water lines, our electrical generation facilities—many of those were built before we knew of this threat lurking off our shore.”

Ashford says Oregon could experience an 8.5 or 9 magnitude earthquake, similar to the Japanese earthquake in 2011. A major quake occurs about every 300 years, and the last one happened 314 years ago.