On the West Coast, it’s not a question of if a major earthquake will happen, it’s a matter of when.
As it currently stands, we don’t have an early warning system to detect this inevitable disaster or seismically reinforced escape routes.
So I’ve introduced The Pacific Northwest Earthquake Preparedness Act of 2019, co-sponsored by Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (OR-1) and Rep. Harley Rouda (CA-48). This bill would require the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to direct critical funding to purchase and install a system that detects an earthquake through early warning signs.
Studies of the Cascadia Subduction Zone, the 1,000 mile stretch from Vancouver, Canada to Cape Mendocino in Northern California, show that major earthquakes and tsunamis could cost thousands of Oregonians their lives, injure thousands more, and inflict an estimated $32 billion in economic damages.
FEMA estimates that a 9.0 magnitude earthquake would affect eight million people living in the Cascadia fault line. More than 13,000 dead. 27,000 injured. A million displaced. And upwards of 2.5 million more in need of food and water.
We need to do better to prepare for the safety of our people.
An early warning system can alert our communities in time to evacuate students from seismically unsafe schools, clear mass transit, alert drivers near the coast, and close bridges that are likely to collapse. This will allow us in Oregon to protect our communities.
will continue to push for this bill until the Senate passes it and until the president signs it into law.
Peter DeFazio, Oregon Congressman