September 8, 2021 3:20 a.m.

On Tuesday, Oregon’s congressional Democrats announced federal funding to help the state prepare for a Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake and tsunami.

A release from Congressman Peter DeFazio said the funds are being allocated through the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Catastrophic Preparedness Grant Program. Oregon will receive $388,463 to support the development of a comprehensive logistics and supply chain management plan in the event of a Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake. Oregon was one of 15 state and local governments to be selected among 22 eligible applications.

DeFazio said, “If a major earthquake hits along the Cascadia Subduction Zone, thousands could be killed and Oregon would suffer billions in economic damages”. DeFazio said the funding will allow the state to better prepare for a major earthquake and tsunami and develop a strategy to support supply chain management in the event of a disaster.

The release said Oregon’s greatest threat of earthquakes and tsunamis is from the Cascadia Subduction Zone. Stretching from northern California up into British Columbia, the zone “slips” roughly every 300 years causing major earthquakes. The last known major earthquake was in 1700. Evidence suggests it was a magnitude of 8.7 to 9.2.

The release said experts agree that Oregon is due for another major earthquake. Some forecasts suggest there is a 10 to 20 percent chance of a magnitude 9 quake on the CSZ in the next 50 years, while others predict a 25 to 45 percent chance of a major quake on the south end of CSZ in the next 50 years.

The project receiving funding will focus on the threats and vulnerabilities associated with an earthquake and tsunami, and the associated needs of socially vulnerable communities. Key federal, state, local and tribal partners will be involved in project implementation according to DeFazio’s release.