Oregon Repeals a Ban on Construction of Critical Facilities in Cascadia Tsunami Zones

Monday, August 19, 2019
By Paul Martin

Aug 19, 2019

Experts say it’s only a matter of time before the Cascadia causes a massive earthquake that generates a tsunami as much as seven stories tall and destroys parts of Oregon Coast.

But the Oregon’s Legislature repealed a ban on construction of new “critical facilities” in tsunami inundation zones, allowing fire stations, police stations and schools to be built in the potential path of a tsunami.

While we know the Cascadia earthquake is overdue and will be one of the most devastating natural disaster to hit northern America, now the Orgeon legislature has repealed a ban on construction of buildings in the tsunami prone areas along the Oragon coast. A pretty bad idea, I would say!

Passage of the bill in June was little noticed during one of the most tumultuous legislative sessions in Oregon history. But it has since been roundly criticized — including by Gov. Kate Brown, who told journalists the bill’s passage was one of her disappointments, even though she signed the measure and previously said it benefited economic development.

Chris Goldfinger, an Oregon State University professor and an earthquake geologist, says putting the $60 million oceanography building in the path of a tsunami is “beyond ironic,” and allowing even more construction threatens lives in favor of development.

“It’s foolhardy. In every other country in the world, best practice for tsunamis is avoidance, not building in a tsunami zone,” Goldfinger said at a symposium for journalists in Newport that included a tour of the construction project.

The Rest…HERE

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