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Tsunami Information

Latest Happenings

Oregon Emergency Management Geologic Hazards Coordinator Althea Rizzo and other state agency experts held preparedness workshops concerning tsunamis and earthquakes in several Oregon communities in March 2013. For more information visit the OEM Road Show Page

2013 Road Show Video

Tsunami Awareness Events Planned For Oregon Coast

2012 Road Show Slides



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Oregon Coast Visitor Tsunami Awareness

People of the Oregon coast critically need accurate educational materials and effective mitigation tools to prepare for both distant tsunamis and the next great Cascadia earthquake and a local tsunami. When, not if, the next great Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake strikes the Pacific Northwest, Oregon will OOface the greatest challenge in its history.  Oregon’s buildings, transportation network, utilities and population are simply not prepared for such an event.  Were it to occur today, thousands of Oregonians would die, and economic losses would be at least $32 billion.  
Tsunamis are a low frequency natural hazard in Oregon and are restricted almost exclusively to coastal areas.  However, when they do occur they can be very destructive, especially if the tsunami is generated by a subduction zone earthquake immediately offshore of the coast. The coasts of Washington, Oregon, and northern California are particularly vulnerable to tsunamis from magnitude 9+ earthquakes that occur about every 500 years on the Cascadia Subduction Zone. In addition, smaller tsunamis and earthquakes occur in the subduction zone south of Waldport. Recurrence on the southern coastline for a partial rupture of the Cascadia Subduction Zone is ~300 years.
Visitors to the Oregon coast may not be aware of this hazard. This population is particularly vulnerable to disasters because they are separated from their normal support systems. The goal of this project will be to enable hospitality providers to inform their guests about the tsunami hazard in a positive way and to train professionals on how to prepare for tsunami events on the coast.

Goals and strategies

The purpose of the Oregon Coast Visitor Tsunami Awareness project is to improve the visitor’s awareness of the tsunami hazards and to support the hospitality industry on the Oregon coast in becoming more prepared for tsunami events. It is being funded by the National Tsunami Hazard Mitigation Program (NTHMP), a part of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
As part of this project, several products will be created and made available, free of charge to hospitality groups. These products will be:
  • A short video that can be played on in-room television channels
  • Publications that can be added to guest room guide/ notebooks 
  • Training that will be available to businesses
  • Single source of templates for facility use and BMP industry resources (Web accessible)
The outcome of this project will be improved preparedness by businesses serving the visitors to the Oregon coast and an improvement of tsunami awareness by our guests.
Visitors to the Oregon coast come from around the world and most will not know that earthquakes and tsunamis are hazards here. It is our responsibility to make sure that they are safe while they are our guests.
We hope that the video will be shown widely on the in-room channels, and on hotel lobby screens. The publications can be tailored to your business branding and easily added to the guest room information notebooks.


The time line:
  • February 19, 2014                      Kick-off meeting
  • March-April                                 Video production
  • March-April                                 In-person meeting/ Lincoln City
  • March-May                                  Publication production
  • May                                                 In-person meeting 
  • May-June                                      Develop and test training workshops
  • July 31, 2014                                 End of project cycle



On-line Tools


Distant Tsunami Working Group

Oregon Emergency Management is established a Distant Tsunami Response Working Group to create a standardized response to a distant tsunami on the Oregon coast. The goal of this group was to look at current processes and produce recommendations for state agencies and local communities to better react to a distant tsunami warning, watch or advisory. 

Working Group Materials: 
Local Planning Guidance on Distant Tsunami Response

Next Meeting:  
Available soon  
Support Materials:

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Tsunami Reports

If you have questions or comments on earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanoes, please e-mail Althea Rizzo. 
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