March 21, 2013
A new report issued by the Oregon Seismic Safety Policy Advisory Commission, predicts that more than 10,000 people could die when a massive earthquake and tsunami occurs just off the Pacific Northwest coast.
According to the panel of over 150 volunteer experts, it is not a matter of “if” this will happen, but a matter of “when”.
“This earthquake will hit us again,” Kent Yu, an engineer and chairman of the commission, told lawmakers. “It’s just a matter of how soon.” The NY Daily news reported that:
“The report says that geologically, Oregon and Japan are mirror images. Despite the devastation in Japan, that country was more prepared than Oregon because it had spent billions on technology to reduce the damage, the report says. Jay Wilson, the commission’s vice chairman, visited Japan and said he was profoundly affected as he walked through villages ravaged by the tsunami.”
“It was just as if these communities were ghost towns, and for the most part there was nothing left,” said Wilson, who works for the Clackamas County emergency management department.
Wilson told legislators that there was a similar event 313 years ago in the Pacific Northwest, and “we’re well within the window for it to happen again.”