‘The Big One’: Cascadia subduction earthquake event April 21

In honor of Earth Day, Columbia Gorge Community College and Hood River County Sheriff’s Office of Emergency Management present an interactive learning event, offering insight into Cascadia earthquake geology, impacts and preparedness actions residents can take. Cascadia earthquake is “Oregon’s greatest natural threat,” according to the Governor’s Task Force on Resilience.


contact Emergency Manager Barbara Ayers at 541-386-1213, email barbara.ayers@co...., or visit www.HoodRiver Sheriff.com.

When, not if, geologists agree, we are overdue for a magnitude 8.0 to 9.0 Cascadia subduction earthquake that will impact the I-5 corridor from Northern California to Canada, and forecasted as the largest natural disaster in U.S. history. Gorge impacts would be significant, although far less so than to Portland and coastal communities.

How quickly Gorge communities can recover is largely a result of how well we prepare — and preparedness will help all of us be ready for more common emergencies and disasters such as power outages, winter storms, wildfires and landslides.

Find out what you can do at this interesting, interactive event, with speakers Geologist Althea Rizzo, PhD., Hazards Program Coordinator for Oregon State Office of Emergency Management, and Hood River County Emergency Manager Barb Ayers.

Public safety leaders will lead hands-on skill stations, so you can learn how to prepare our communities.

“The Big One” will be held at Hood River winery Springhouse Cellar, 14 Railroad St., from 5:30 -8:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 21. Free hors d’ oeuvres will be served and there is a no-host wine bar. A $10 optional donation to cover workshop costs will be gratefully accepted.

“When the next great Cascadia subduction zone earthquake strikes the Pacific Northwest, Oregon will face the greatest challenge in its history,” the Governor’s Task Force on Resilience wrote in their Oregon Resilience Report to the Oregon Legislature in 2014.

The report continued, “Oregon’s buildings, transportation network, utilities, and population are simply not prepared for such an event. Were it to occur today, thousands of Oregonians would die, and economic losses would be at least $32 billion.

“We cannot avoid the future earthquake, but we can choose a future in which the earthquake is a manageable disaster without lasting impact.

“We need to start preparing now,” the report concluded.

For the last 25 years, the scientific community has been aware of the possibility that a great earthquake caused by the Cascadia subduction zone could strike the Pacific Northwest. Now, after decades of research and recent great earthquakes in Sumatra, Chile, and Japan, awareness of this threat is widespread in Oregon, and we know enough to paint a picture of what Oregon might look like after such an earthquake.

Hood River County Sheriff’s Office offers a broad array of emergency response services to communities across the county, including Emergency Management, Search and Rescue, Marine Patrol, 911 dispatch, patrol division, Animal Control, Forest Patrol, civil division and management support for the NORCOR regional jail.

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