Experts: 84% chance of PNW quake in next 50 years


PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Scientists in the Pacific Northwest are trying to get the public’s attention about the possibility of large earthquake hitting the region in the near future.

The Big One, a subduction zone earthquake, is only one of the three kinds of tectonic earthquakes that occur in the Pacific Northwest, University of Portland Professor Emeritus Robert Butler tells KOIN 6 News.

“We really need to shift and elevate the awareness of everybody in the region about earthquakes,” Butler says.

Butlers says seismologists are looking at the probability of a different earthquake near the Puget Sound that would have a magnitude of 6 or higher.

“It’s about 84 percent in the next 50 years. In other words a virtual certainty,” he says.

Steve Eberlein with the Red Cross urges families to prepare now.

“You need to be willing to go home, sit across the table from your spouse or your partner, and talk about what you’re going to do for your family,” he says.

The Red Cross urges families to make an emergency preparedness kit with non-perishable food items, cash and other basic items.

“If you have the basics in your kit, you’re well on your way to being prepared and not scared for a disaster,” Monique Dugaw with the Red Cross says.

Experts recommend these Earthquake Preparedness Items:

  • One gallon of water per day for everyone in your house
  • A National Weather Service radio with extra batteries.
  • Flashlight
  • Medication
  • Toiletries
  • Blanket
  • Map
  • Cash
  • Personal documents: birth certificates, passports, insurance policies

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