Damage estimates in the latest report are significantly higher than those given in previously published studies if a M9.0 earthquake hits along the Cascadia Subduction Zone.
Thousands of people are expected to be killed or somehow injured when a major earthquake hits, according to a newly released report prepared for the Regional Disaster Preparedness Organization (RDPO). Depending on when a 9.0 Cascadia Subduction Zone (CSZ) earthquake hits, the death toll and number of injured could reach into the “low tens of thousands.”
This video recaps a new DOGAMI study of potential impacts of a Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake on the Portland region. DOGAMI’s John Bauer, the lead investigator on the study, walks through the study’s science and results, including study estimates of injuries, people needing shelter, building damages, and building debris:
The report provides damage and casualty estimates to buildings, people, and key infrastructure sectors resulting from a major earthquake in the Portland metropolitan region by using updated local geologic information and recent advances in loss estimation methods.
Damage estimates in the latest report are significantly higher than those given in previously published studies. The increase comes after researchers used updated building inventory “that more accurately reflects the region’s building code history with respect to seismic resiliency, and usage of updated soils and liquefaction susceptibility data.”
“The majority of buildings in the study area do not meet current seismic building code standards, although the buildings did meet code standards in place at time of construction,” the report states.
The authors of the report urge state and local government to offer incentives “and other options that encourage building owners to seismically upgrade their buildings. Such upgrades will reduce casualties and building repair costs and will minimize potential loss of businesses and workforce housing. Jurisdictions can consider triggers that require seismic upgrades, such as a major building renovation.”
The emphasis right now is on preparing. Experts stress people should start preparing now for an earthquake. It’s advised people have two weeks’ worth of food and water. Just do it before it’s too late!