PORTLAND -- The magnitude-8.2 earthquake that hit Chile Tuesday had some wondering if Oregon now faces an increased chance of having a major quake in the near future.
Experts said – no. Earthquakes elsewhere do not increase the chances of an earthquake hitting the Northwest.
Oregon state geologist Vicki McConnell went on to explain that there's about a 30 percent chance of a magnitude 8 earthquake occurring along the Cascadia subduction zone in the next 50 years and about a 15 percent chance of a magnitude 9 quake.
She added that even though the Chile quake also occurred along a subduction zone, that does not mean Cascadia will be next.
“Is there a cause and effect between there and here? No, seismology research does not really indicate that,” McConnell said.
However, she did want to point out that the recent earthquakes have been important reminders that the Pacific Northwest is earthquake territory, which means we should be prepared for one to hit anytime.
KGW reporter Keely Chalmers contributed to this report.