OPB “Unprepared” Documentary

logo-largeOPB has been doing an incredible integrated radio, TV, and online effort, called “Unprepared”, looking at the vulnerability of the region to a Cascadia subduction zone earthquake and resulting tsunami. The finale will be an airing of the Oregon Field Guide Special Unprepared Documentary.  The premier showing will be October 1, 2015 at 6:10 pm.  For those wanting a sneak peak and to participate in a question and answer session, the local chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) is putting on an event at Mercy Corps at 6:00 pm, Thursday, September 24th, at Mercy Corps.

The recent subduction zone earthquake in Chile was an 8.3 magnitude which puts it in the “Small Size” Cascadia earthquake category. Since the ruptures start from the south, the rupture would stretch up northern California to Oregon.  While not as powerful as a full rupture that would continue up to southern BC, we still would affected in Portland.  The Chilean earthquake shook buildings in Sao Paolo, Brazil a distance of over 1,650 miles.   Portland would be less than 400 miles away.

It is sobering that this latest Chilean earthquake was only five years after the 8.8 magnitude earthquake Chile experienced in 2010. While we have good records of when Cascadia earthquakes have happened over the last 10,000 years, our ability to predict when the next one will occur is minimal.

Chile is one of the best seismically prepared countries in the world and was able to spring back quickly after the 2010 earthquake.  It, along with Japan, were the model’s for the Oregon Resilience Plan.  They showed we can be “prepared”.  The OPB Unprepared series point’s out the terrible price we will pay if we don’t.