Cascadia Earthquake Part 3: Coastal Communities and Critical Buildings

tsunamijpg-0168170d5074aa36_largeRunning time:  55 min.

Below you can find Part 1 and 2.

The page numbers are the electric (vs. print out) number and not the true page numbers.



Today we focus on the Coastal Communities and Critical buildings.  Such as schools, government buildings and hospitals.

Picture of Seaside pg72

Click here for the link to the Oregon Resilience Plan. These podcast are based off that report.

Coastal Communities

“The vulnerability of coastal communities to tsunami hazards varies, with the most concentrated

exposure being on the northern Oregon coast (as indicated in Figure 3.3). Within the tsunami inundation zone, practically all of the 22,000 permanent residents — along with an equal or greater number of second home owners — who survive the tsunami will be instantly displaced (Wood, 2007).

The visitor population presents a great challenge, because visitors tend to congregate in the tsunami inundation zone and have the least knowledge of where and how to evacuate. Moreover, those that survive will put extreme pressure on local relief efforts, which must provide for their initial welfare.” pg73

Graph of Land in Danger Zone Pg 75


“Well-built wood frame buildings will withstand the shaking fairly well. Unreinforced masonry (URM) and under – reinforced concrete buildings will suffer significant damage. Unfortunately, this includes a number of government buildings and essential facilities in the coastal zone. Because subduction zone earthquakes generate long -period seismic waves and because the duration of the shaking is so long, certain structures, such as bridges, may resonate, amplifying shaking impacts.” pg76

Map of Tsunami Evacuation Map for Tillamook page 79

Protecting Building and Infrastructure

“As Wood’s study shows, the vulnerabilities of communities within the tsunami zone vary, so the solutions must vary accordingly (Wood 2007). Mitigation proposals should be developed that include actual mitigation projects— such as relocation —as well as more land -use related solutions that look at rebuilding communities after the earthquake and tsunami so that they are tsunami-ready for future events.” pg 80

 Disaster Resilience and Sustainability

  •  Wave, wind, and solar as models for economic growth, improved emergency self-reliance, and less dependency on a tourism-based economy.
  •   The proposed energy generation plant, if it is accepted, for a Coos Bay LNG facility. This plant could have value after a Cascadia subduction zone event if it is located outside of the tsunami zone.·         Investment early in infrastructure redundancy and alternative local sources of energy for areas that will someday need to be rebuilt and relocated due to catastrophic earthquake and tsunami damage. Such investment can have dual benefits: minimizing disaster -related downtime and encouraging sustainable community development. (Example: The Smart Grid concept to invest in alternative local/regional electricity generation and (distribution.)  pg89

 Graph How long to get up and running pg 100

2022 with funding
“…requires seismic rehabilitation of publicly-operated emergency operations centers, police stations and fire stations by 2022, but with the caveat of being, “subject to available funding.” As a result, it appears to have had only limited effect in this and other essential and critical building sectors.” pg103Schools“Of the full sample of 2,018 K-12 educational facilities assessed using the FEMA 154 methodology, 12 percent rated Very High, 35 percent rated High, 23 percent rated Moderate, and 30 percent rated Low collapse potential (Lewis,2007). The assessment focused on school facilities constructed before 1994, although some more recent buildings were included. Of the buildings assessed, roughly 80 percent were built before Oregon first adopted a statewide building code in 1971, and 60 percent are more than 50 years old. The assessment revealed that inadequate or non-existent seismic design is pervasive in every region of Oregon, and that seismic retrofit investment at the school district level has been limited.” pg 104


“Historically, performance of healthcare facilities around the world has been extensively affected by nonstructural damage. The ability of a healthcare facility to function is greatly dependent on the nonstructural items within that facility. The building’s structure may perform very well during the expected earthquake, but the hospital might not be functional after such an event due to nonstructural damage alone.” pg 107

 Disaster Song by Kopecky Family Band

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