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Local seismologists: Oregon, prepare for shake

By Reed Andrews, KATU News Wes Thelen, a seismologist at the USGS Cascades Volcano Observatory in Vancouver, investigates data from…

By Reed Andrews, KATU News

Wes Thelen, a seismologist at the USGS Cascades Volcano Observatory in Vancouver, investigates data from volcanoes that line the cascades from when the earthquake occurred in Anchorage, Alaska, Friday. (KATU Photo)

Local seismologists and geologists say the 7.0 earthquake strikes Alaska to make people in the Pacific realize the catastrophic threat of the great is for our region.

“We are in the earthquake country,” said Scott Burns, a geology professor at Portland State University. “Everybody should have a kit at home for the earthquake – we’ll get into the situation, we need water and food to keep you going.”

It was an active morning at the USGS Cascades Volcano Observatory in Vancouver, as seismologist Wes Thelen supervised the activity of Anchorage.

“You get 10 times more energy emissions,” said Thelen for each increased degree of size. “So it’s just the size, but what you get is also a much longer event, and then shakes it sharply for a very long time.”

Because of these factors, Thelen says the earthquake Cascadia Subduction Zone that Pacific Northwest is delayed will be a dramatically stronger earthquake.

Burns say Alaska’s injuries should alert people, but the situation in the Portland region is likely to be worse, because the subway is dramatically more densely populated than Anchorage.

Scientists have known the threat of earthquakes in Alaska for decades, which has affected their building codes. Burns say that the threat of earthquakes in Oregon has been relatively recently discovered, which could reinforce the destruction because many structures were built without knowledge of the area’s seismic risk.


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