Report: The 'Big One' quake in Oregon would cost $30 billion

Report: The 'Big One' quake in Oregon would cost $30 billion

Report: The 'Big One' quake in Oregon would cost $30 billion

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by KGW Staff

KREM.com

Posted on February 5, 2013 at 5:40 PM

SALEM -- A long-awaited overview of the effects of a tsunami on the order of the Fukushima quake in Japan was released Monday, estimating the cost of such a temblor upwards of $30 billion in Oregon, with repairs to basic utilities taking a month to years to fix.

The report was compiled by the Oregon Seismic Safety Policy Advisory Commission and outlines a series of recommendations to improve buildings, utilities and safety procedures for the next several decades.

The study suggests the outcome of a magnitude 9 quake generated from the Cascadia subduction zone off the Northwest Coast.  Among the findings: Anywhere from 1,250 to more than 10,000 people would die. The major quake would also flood Seaside, including the buildings and communications facilities of first responders.

More: Read a report summary

Throughout Western Oregon, there are a number of key public safety and government buildings built to lax earthquake standards. The study concluded that the on-ramp to the Astoria-Megler bridge would likely collapse, along with a number of other bridges throughout Western Oregon.

Virtually all of the state's natural gas and liquid fuel plants lie along the Willamette River in Portland. Even if they survived a quake and floods, getting fuel moved to sustain homes and businesses would be disrupted, the study indicated.

In Portland and the Willamette Valley, water and sewer would be out for a month to a year and electricity a month to three months. Most businesses would shutter for two weeks to a month because of the outage. On the coast, those utilities could be out for a year or several years, the study found.

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