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.
information about the geologic hazards program at OEM, contact:
Rizzo, Geological Hazards Program Coordinator
Karen (Parmelee) Layng, Geological Hazards Awareness Coordinator
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.
Check out the Preparedness
Videos you can watch
Get prepared to be 2
- TsunamiSafe: an OEM program to help educate visitors and the hospitality industry about the tsunami hazard on the Oregon Coast.