PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — On the 11-year anniversary of the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries (DOGAMI) has released two new tsunami evacuation modeling reports for the Oregon Coast’s Clatsop County.
As the final installment for the evacuation modeling for the county, the reports cover much of the coastal region, including Astoria, Cannon Beach, Arch Cape, and Falcon Cove.
As part of the agency’s ongoing ‘Beat the Wave’ series, the two reports announced Friday will join DOGAMI’s ongoing list of publications, which work to provide residents with critical information regarding the arrival times of tsunami waves, evacuation routes, and the minimum evacuation speeds needed for pedestrians to reach safety if a Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake were to strike.
“Knowing about and practicing evacuation for locations in the tsunami zone where you live, work or play are critical for keeping you and your loved ones safe in a Cascadia event,” stated Laura Gabel, Coastal Geologist with DOGAMI. “These reports and ‘Beat the Wave’ evacuation brochures are of great importance for assisting emergency managers, community leaders and the public prepare for Cascadia.”
DOGAMI warned if such an event were to occur residents and visitors would have very little time to prepare and evacuate, which is one of many reasons locals can benefit from the new information provided within the reports.
“A tsunami caused by an earthquake along the Cascadia Subduction Zone could impact coastal communities in as little as 10-20 minutes,” the agency stated. “So moving to higher ground quickly is essential.”
In the Friday release, DOGAMI explained the warning signs for a potentially destructive tsunami can be minor, and in many instances, the only warning sign available could be the earthquake.
The agency warned Clatsop County residents that these tremors may also cause devastating damage to roads, bridges, and other transportation avenues which people may rely on to find safety.
DOGAMI suggested if enough damage is caused to primary transportation routes during an earthquake, evacuating by foot might be the most effective way to safety.
“In coastal towns like Astoria and Cannon Beach, many homes, businesses, and tourist attractions are located in tsunami inundation zones, making it very important for community members and visitors to familiarize themselves with evacuation routes,” stated DOGAMI. “With the lifting of pandemic-related restrictions, tourism on the Oregon coast will likely increase in the coming months and it is important to ensure that visitors and residents have the information they need to prepare for a possible tsunami.”
In partnership with the Northwest Association of Networked Ocean Observing Systems (NANOOS), DOGAMI has also helped develop the NVS Tsunami Evacuation app, which grants users the ability to view tsunami inundation zones and identify potential evacuation routes.
The app can be downloaded for iPhone/IOS users here, and is available for Android devices here.
Additional evacuation preparation resources provided by the Tsunami Clearinghouse Resource Library can be viewed at this link.