Oregon ‘will be toast’ when next big earthquake hits

Northwest region is 72 years overdue for next big earthquake, experts say

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – One of Oregon’s top earthquake experts predicts the “really big one” will wipe out the entire Northwest. In fact, the area’s FEMA director said everything west of I-5 “will be toast”.

In The New Yorker article “The Really Big One”, Northwest FEMA Director Kenneth Murphy predicts 13,000 people will die in what’s referred to as the “Cascadia Earthquake and Tsunami”. Another 2,500 people are expected to be hurt in the devastating quake.

The article quotes an Oregon State University scientist who said the odds of the “really big one” are 1 in 10, especially since the area is 72 years overdue.

“You’d be pretty hard-pressed to find a hazard of this magnitude that could essentially cut off lifelines and supply chains and structures for 2 weeks,” Andrew Phelps, director of the Oregon Office of Emergency Management, explained.

According to Phelps, once the “really big one” hits, Portlanders should expect up to 6 minutes of shaking. Then come the landslides, followed by a 50-foot high tsunami. In The New Yorker’s article, Seaside’s city planner said people there will only have 10-30 minutes to get out.

“You want to say, in a perfect world this is never going to happen, but historically that just hasn’t been the case,” Phelps said.

Full article: Oregon ‘will be toast’ when next big earthquake hits (WSLS 10)

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