Although many people call the Oregon Coast a jacket-wearing paradise, there are other natural labels given to this part of the country. And one of those labels pertain to earthquakes that are pretty strong and destructive – even more powerful than your average shaker. The Cascadia Subduction Zone, right off the Oregon Coast, produces very powerful ground movements that can compete with just about any powerful shakers around the world. The Cascadia Subduction Zone, runs from Alaska clear down to California. And along that line, earthquakes are triggered every 250 to 350 years according to Oregon State University scientists. The last big Cascadia Earthquake was in the year 1700. You can determine with simple arithmetic we’re overdue. So preparations are being made by Lincoln County government workers and the scientific community to get residents ready for such an event.
There are many facets to such forward-looking thinking, not the least of which is pre-planning the arrival of such an earthquake as well as post-earthquake recovery. Lincoln County emergency services employees are already front-and-center in coming to grips with such a destructive earthquake and are formulating a highly comprehensive plan to prevent damage to buildings, streets, other infrastructure and lives. Helicopters and seaplanes are likely to be the dominant modes of immediate transportation for food and medicine, as well as transporting the injured beyond the earthquake zone. It also includes creating many civilian short-wave (amateur) radio tent-top stations to communicate with many areas of Lincoln County and well beyond – all the more important to ensure diesel, gasoline and solar powered electrical generators are well placed to keep those radio operators active while distributing critical information on lives lost, those injured, and other critical information.
Of course this all takes a mountain of preparation and coordination. Fortunately Lincoln County is blessed with some very smart people who have been quietly, in the background, planning on how to get all this done. And to meet this challenge there will be a number of local disaster-related government and public organizations to provide training, drills and public outreach.
And on another front, Covid-19 was discussed among the commissioners. They noted that the recent surge in Covid-19 hospital patients are mostly among those who, for one reason or another, refuse to be vaccinated. They’re filling up hospital beds across the country. The result is forcing those who would otherwise be eligible for more routine medical care to be put on waiting lists.