Central Oregon Coast Plans 17-Mile Tsunami Drill
(Lincoln City, Oregon) - A variety of government emergency agencies are banding together in a variety of Lincoln County towns to test the area's tsunami warning systems on Wednesday, September 29 at 11 a.m. It will be the largest tsunami drill ever conducted on the Oregon coast, covering some 17 miles and including the towns of Seal Rock, Waldport and Yachats.
Officials are urging both tourists and locals to participate, as they test the NOAA alert system in each of these of these villages and the beaches in between.
The drill is held in conjunction with Oregon State Police, Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office, Lincoln County School District, Oregon Department of Transportation, Tsunami Outreach, Oregon Emergency Management and the Oregon Department Of Geology And Mineral Industries.
The entire west coast is susceptible to a massive tsunami, the kind that has hit the region many times over thousands of years. There is considerable evidence of this, sometimes a mile or more inland, hidden in coastal marshes, forests, farmlands and underneath the sands themselves.
The last such massive tsunami is known to have hit the coast about 1700. These occur about once every 300 to 500 years because of a series of underwater faults off the coast of Oregon, where the Juan de Fuca and the North American tectonic plates meet. This subduction zone is about 75 miles offshore. The two plates are usually locked together, but periodically this stress is released in a massive motion that results in an earthquake and sometimes can trigger a tsunami.
Scientists say the region may be overdue for such a catastrophic event.
Officials said anything west of Highway 101 is in the possible wake of a tsunami, but most tsunami evacuation routes on the coast indicate to get to higher ground well beyond Highway 101.
There are numerous geological and tsunami maps at this link.
For further information on the tsunami drill, call the Yachats Fire Department at 541-547-3266.
Cape Perpetua, Near Yachats
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