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Oregon Lawmakers Hear Testimony On Tsunami Preparedness

A major Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake could cause catastrophic damage in the Pacific Northwest.
USGS
A major Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake could cause catastrophic damage in the Pacific Northwest.

Oregon lawmakers are turning their attention to earthquake and tsunami preparedness.

A pair of legislative committees heard testimony Tuesday on how the state could better withstand a possible disaster.

The ideas being floated include a dedicated fund for disaster recovery operations. Another proposal would allow the state to ban construction of critical buildings such as hospitals and fire stations in tsunami zones unless other mitigation steps are taken.

Jeff Rubin serves on the Oregon Resilience Task Force. It's looking into how the state can prepare for major earthquakes and tsunamis.

"If this were easy or even moderately difficult, we probably would have had it done by now,” he said. “It's not like we're the dolts and everybody else has it figured out. This is really difficult. It's complex."

Scientists say a major Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake could cause catastrophic damage in the Pacific Northwest. Geologic evidence shows one of those happens every 400 to 600 years. The last one in the region was in 1700.

Copyright 2015 Northwest News Network

Chris Lehman graduated from Temple University with a journalism degree in 1997. He landed his first job less than a month later, producing arts stories for Red River Public Radio in Shreveport, Louisiana. Three years later he headed north to DeKalb, Illinois, where he worked as a reporter and announcer for NPR–affiliate WNIJ–FM. In 2006 he headed west to become the Salem Correspondent for the Northwest News Network.