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Oregon Earthquake Anniversary Prompts Preparedness

Oregon Office of Emergency Management

Thursday (1/26) marks 317 years since the last recorded Cascadia Quake. As KLCC’s Franziska Monahan reports, the date is being honored with emergency preparedness reminders and new legislation.

On January 26, 1700 an orphan tsunami hit the coast of Japan. The term “orphan tsunami” refers to the absence of a “parent” earthquake. Unknown to the Japanese at the time, there had been a quake. On the other side of the world. At the Cascadia subduction zone. The Oregon’s Office of Emergency Management’s Althea Rizzo says they’re using the anniversary to promote disaster readiness.

Rizzo: “If the big Cascadia hits, it could be a couple of weeks before we’re able to get systems in place that can get food and water out to people.”

Democratic Congressman Peter DeFazio introduced new legislation this week to help fund an earthquake early warning system. It won’t predict earthquakes, but because seismic waves travel slower than electric signals, it could alert people as soon as one starts. Meaning, if the earthquake begins in California, Portland may have a full minute to brace itself before the shaking. Rizzo would like to remind Oregon residents that disaster readiness isn’t a hard or expensive endeavor. You can check state office of emergency management’s  “Two Weeks Ready” Facebook page for weekly updates on how to improve your disaster readiness kit.

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