Oregon Congressional Democrats recently announced federal funding to help Oregon prepare for the Cascadia-area earthquake and tsunami.
The funds are allocated through the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Fiscal Year 2021 Regional Disaster Preparedness Grant Program. The State of Oregon will receive $388,463 to support the development of a comprehensive logistics and supply chain management plan in the event of an earthquake in the Cascadia subduction zone. Grants are very competitive. Oregon is one of 15 state and local governments selected from among 22 eligible applications.
“If a major earthquake strikes along the Cascadia subduction, it could kill thousands and Oregon would suffer billions of dollars in economic damage,” said Representative Peter DeFazio, who chairs the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, which has jurisdiction over FEMA. “This funding will allow the country to better prepare for a major earthquake and tsunami and develop a strategy to support supply chain management in the event of a disaster.”
“Scientists’ warning that a potentially devastating earthquake will strike our state at some point requires a response that includes strong preparedness to protect Oregonians and our communities,” said Senator Ron Wyden. “I am pleased that the State of Oregon is receiving this money from FEMA to help prepare for a major earthquake along the Cascadia subduction that could also touch a devastating tsunami hitting the coast.”
“Oregon’s preparedness for the Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake is critical to the stability of our infrastructure and the safety of our communities,” said Senator Ron Merkley. “I am pleased that the FEMA grant will go toward a comprehensive plan to protect Oregonians across the state, ensuring that we have the resources to manage any potential disaster and its consequences.”
“The pandemic, wildfires and extreme weather events that have occurred over the past year have demonstrated the value of preparing as much as possible for catastrophic events,” said Congresswoman Susan Bonamichi. “We must be prepared for a potential Cascadia subduction earthquake and associated tsunami, so I am grateful that Oregon was chosen to receive this significant funding to help plan and prepare for a natural disaster that could occur at any time.”
The biggest earthquake and tsunami threat in Oregon comes from the Cascadia subduction zone. The Cascadia subduction zone extends from northern California to British Columbia, “slips” about every 300 years causing major earthquakes. The last known major earthquake was in 1700 and evidence suggests it had a magnitude of 8.7 to 9.2.
Experts agree that Oregon will experience another major earthquake. Some projections say there is a 10-20 percent chance of a 9-magnitude earthquake in the next 50 years, while others predict a 25-40 percent chance of a major earthquake in the southern tip of the CSZ next year . fifty years.
The project receiving funding will focus primarily on the threats and vulnerabilities associated with the Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake and tsunami, and the associated needs of socially vulnerable communities. Key federal, state, local and tribal partners will be involved in project implementation.
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