The following message was sent by Pascal Schuback, Executive Director of the Cascadia Region Earthquake Workgroup (CREW) on January 26th:
Today marks the 317th year since the Pacific Northwest experienced an estimated magnitude 9.0 megathrust earthquake in the Cascadia Subduction Zone. This earthquake also created a large tsunami that attacked the Pacific Northwest coast line and 10 hours later, the coast of Japan. The Cascadia Subduction Fault runs offshore and dips under Northern California, Oregon, Washington, and the Province of British Columbia and is recognized as one of the world’s most dangerous faults that has built up enough strain to rupture again without warning.
The Cascadia Region Earthquake Workgroup (CREW) is a coalition of private and public representatives working together to improve the ability of region’s communities, business and citizens to reduce the effects of earthquakes and related hazards. We work to build stronger relationships within and between the public, private, academic and other non-profit organizations.
On October 19, 2016 CREW and our many partners participated in the Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drill a global exercise practicing the “Drop, Cover and Hold On” steps to take during an earthquake with record participation levels, including 800,000 in British Columbia, 500,000 in Oregon, 1.1 million in Washington and 10.6 million in California. The Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drill will take place again on October 19, 2017. Register here to be one of the millions to “Drop, Cover and Hold On.”
Additionally, CREW continues working on many projects and initiatives in 2017, including participating with the recently kicked off Resilient Washington Sub Cabinetto help our state better prepare for natural disasters, including earthquakes, tsunamis, wildfires, drought, storms and flooding. Other projects being released include new fact sheets on preparedness and seismic safety for schools, workshops for small businesses and schools, and a recommendation for a Cascadia Region Coordinated Earthquake Risk Communication Plan.
CREW also has been working with our partners to promote the need to prepare and mitigate from the risk of this earthquake, including the 2 Weeks Ready Campaign with the States of Oregon and Washington. Additional projects include the release of the “Without Warning Tsunami” comic book in partnership with Dark Horse Comics and Oregon Emergency Management. CREW and Oregon Emergency Management also released the “Tsunami Safe” awareness course for the hospitality communities on the coast. Additional publications include earthquake scenarios including the “Cascadia Subduction Zone Earthquakes: A magnitude 9.0 earthquake scenario.”
Finally, the anniversary reminds us of the opportunity for our families, schools and businesses to prepare for the next earthquake – which may be as large as magnitude 8.9 – 9.2. An earthquake of this size on the Cascadia fault will be one thousand times more powerful than the 2001 magnitude 6.8 Nisqually Earthquake. The impacts to coastal communities will be similar to the past earthquakes that struck Japan in 2011 and Chile in 2010. And economically, the long-term impacts to the Pacific Northwest region are projected to be tens of billions of dollars in damages and loss from the effect of this earthquake. Public and personal investments in hazard mitigation now will reduce these losses and greatly speed recovery.
There is never a better day to prepare than today. CREW continues its commitment and charter to strengthen this capability in the region, and looks forward to our ongoing partnership with states, the province, businesses, and individuals.