Volcano eruption renews PNW fears

Oregon

Dozens killed or injured Monday in New Zealand.

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The sudden eruption of a volcano in New Zealand has renewed fears in the Pacific Northwest, where we’re surrounded by a number of volcanoes.

There hasn’t been a major eruption in our area since Mount Saint Helens in 1980.

But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be prepared.

Officials with the Oregon Office of Emergency Management offered some tips on what to do should one of our local volcanoes erupt. They say the best thing is to know the dangers around you.

“Have a family plan. Like you would for earthquakes or any other hazard. Talk to your family about what you would do in the case of an eruption,” Althea Rizzo with OOEM said.

Rizzo warned that while the volcanoes might seem far from urban centers, many rivers start on those mountains. That means flow from an eruption would follow those rivers towards more populated areas.

Officials say 47 people from New Zealand, United States, Australia, Germany, Britain, China and Malaysia were on a New Zealand volcanic island when it suddenly erupted on Monday. Of those, dozens were killed, injured or are missing.

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