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Tsunami

Tsunamis are a series of waves that are generated when large earthquakes cause the sea floor to displace the water column above. These dangerous waves can be caused by coastal or submarine landslides or volcanoes, but they are most commonly caused by large earthquakes under the ocean, such as one from the Cascadia Subduction Zone. The Pacific Coast is at risk both from a local tsunami, arriving within minutes of an earthquake, and distant tsunamis, taking several hours to reach the shore.  Since 1854, 21 tsunamis have impacted the Oregon coast. The last two damaging tsunamis were in 1964 as a result of the Great Alaska Earthquake and in 2011 as a result of the Great East Japan Earthquake. It caused severe damage on the Oregon coast and contributed to the loss of lives of four people.
 
For information about the geologic hazards program at OEM, contact:
Althea Rizzo, Geological Hazards Program Coordinator
503-378-3936
 
Karen (Parmelee) Layng, Geological Hazards Awareness Coordinator
503-378-3231
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
What to do: If you are near the ocean and feel a large earthquake, Drop, Cover, and Hold On until the shaking stops. Then walk inland and up to high ground. Do not wait for an official warning. A Tsunami could come ashore in a few minutes. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Quicklinks and Information
 
Check out the Preparedness Publications
 
Videos you can watch and share
 
Get prepared to be 2 Weeks Ready!
 
Business preparedness
  • TsunamiSafe: an OEM program to help educate visitors and the hospitality industry about the tsunami hazard on the Oregon Coast.
  • QuakeSmart
 
Community Preparedness
 

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