Shaking, quaking: 317 years since Cascadia rumbled

The last major earthquake in the Cascadia Subduction Zone was 317 years ago

KOIN 6 News Staff - PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) -- It was 317 years ago that the last major earthquake hit the Cascadia Subduction Zone -- the 600-mile fault that runs along the West Coast.

The Cascadia Subduction Zone

On January 26, 1700, an estimated 9.0 magnitude earthquake hit the Pacific Northwest. There are no written records of the earthquake, but Native American legends support the timing scientists have determined.

Scientists used rings from trees along the coast to pinpoint the date. It also caused a tsunami with 6-10 foot waves that hit the coast of Japan on January 27-28, 1700.

There have been 41 earthquakes in the last 10,000 years, ranging from 190-1,200 years apart, according to the Oregon Office of Emergency Management. The next earthquake could be devastating to cities from Northern California to British Columbia. Scientists predict there is a 40% chance it will happen in the next 50 years.

The Oregon Office of Emergency Management suggests preparing for a potential earthquake by gathering items you'd need over time. Oregon officials anticipate being without services or assistance for at least 2 weeks.

Factoids from January 1700:

--> Protestant Western Europe -- except England -- began using Gregorian calendar

--> The Anglo population in the English colonies in America reaches 275,000, with Boston (pop. 7000) as the largest city

OEM offers these tips for the immediate aftermath of the event:

What to do in the first two minutes 

--Drop, cover and hold on

--Stay in place until the shaking stops; be prepared for aftershocks

What to do in the first two hours 

--Check immediate surroundings for anyone injured and in need of help

--Evacuate, if necessary; if out of your home, determine if it is safe to enter

--Follow your family communication plan (communicate with your out-of-state contact)

What do you do in the first two days

--Use resources in your preparedness supplies as needed

--Check with neighbors/community members to determine who has what skills/resources, and work together to make sure everyone is safe and comfortable

What do you do in the first two weeks

--Add/replace necessary items to your emergency kit(s).

--Organize community members to assist with disaster recovery in your neighborhood


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