Tsunami evacuation route

Two state scientists will present an online discussion of evacuation challenges that will face residents of the Nehalem Bay region in the event of a major earthquake and tsunami. The event, hosted by the Emergency Volunteer Corps of Nehalem Bay, will be held at 1p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 29, and will be accessible online via Webinar to a maximum of 100 viewers. Registration for the online discussion can be done through the EVC’s website – evcnb.org.

The state experts are Althea Rizzo, PhD, geological hazards program coordinator for Oregon Emergency Management, and Jonathan Allan, PhD, coastal geomorphologist for the Department of Geology and Mineral Industries (DOGAMI).

Tillamook County Emergency Manager Lieutenant Gordon McCraw will also be on hand to address the county’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and recent wildfires.

A large-scale Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake striking off the coast of Oregon is expected to generate a disastrous tsunami. Coastal residents and visitors would have only 10-20 minutes to reach safety, and the only way to get there would be on foot.

Rizzo will outline the role of her agency plays in emergency planning and response.

“Since we can expect to be isolated for a long time following a major event, I’m sure she will stress what we always stress,” said EVCNB President Linda Kozlowski. “Learning to take care of ourselves until outside help can arrive.”

Allan will discuss updates to his agency’s recent “Beat the Wave” study of the Nehalem Bay region. The study, completed late last year, analyzed the impact broken roads, collapsed bridges, landslides, and liquefaction would have on people trying to get out of the danger zone.

“The study mapped out the most efficient escape routes,” said Kozlowski. “Then it calculated the speed people would need to walk or run, and whether escape would even be possible.”

Time will be made available during the webinar for questions and answers from the audience.

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