With a so-called “Cascadia event” expected to hit the Pacific Northwest anytime now, earthquake detection and warning systems are more crucial than ever. KLCC’s Brian Bull reports that the University of Oregon has received $400,000 in federal funds to help its efforts.
Inside a campus seismology lab, Leland O’Driscoll runs a simulation on the ShakeAlert program, where an 8.0 magnitude earthquake has hit the Washington coast.
“EARTHQUAKE…LIGHT SHAKING EXPECTED IN 113 SECONDS…” blares the speaker.
“We see on the screen there’s a yellow circle, emanating out of the earthquake epicenter," explains O'Driscoll. He's Oregon Seismic Network Manager at the U of O. He says with seconds of advance warning, trains can be halted, emergency generators activated, and people can find shelter.
This is all part of an implementation plan involving seismic stations being developed with the University of Washington and the U.S. Geological Survey. O’Driscoll says they’re about halfway there.
“What that means in terms of station counts, is that we’re looking at about 550 or stations in Oregon and Washington.”
The $400,000 is both continued operational funds, and a one-time capital fund appropriation that’s tied to a $10 million Congressional allocation from last year.
Brian Bull, KLCC News.