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Monday, March 14, 2011

Oregon: We're Due for "The Big One."

Posted by Sarah Mirk on Mon, Mar 14, 2011 at 4:43 PM

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  • Eatcho
Not to get all hysterical or anything, but all those terrible pictures from Japan? Yeah, that could be us next. Oregon is one of the states most vulnerable to earthquakes. And we're likely to get a big one soon. Look what the New York Times had to say about us in its Sunday edition:
Nearly a thousand Oregon schools built in the last century have poor earthquake resilience, and many vulnerable dams protect urban areas in the region. Oregon is moving to shore up its schools, but the program is not slated for completion until 2032. The federal government is working to address dam issues, but the pace is deliberate, he said.
Freelancer Bill Lascher reported on what could happen to Portland during a major earthquake last month.

Children will die in the rubble of devastated public schools. Workers will die in offices built inside un-reinforced brick buildings. Should we survive, we might find ourselves stranded, perhaps without enough fuel or food. Even our beloved green spaces would be doomed. Picture Forest Park ablaze, with the flames racing from near the foot of a collapsed St. Johns Bridge, and the air and water filling with oil and toxic chemicals that have erupted from destroyed tank farms along the Willamette River.
Read here about the politics and budget problems that may lead to our doom.

In the meantime, did anyone else pack an annual earthquake kit for school when they were growing up? The best day of every year in elementary school was that last week in June when I got to open that Ziploc bag of stale granola bars wrapped with an upbeat note from my mom.

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