PORTLAND – March is Oregon Earthquake and Tsunami Awareness Month and state officials are asking residents to plan ahead for a possible disaster.
On Monday a 4.4 magnitude earthquake rolled across Los Angeles, just a week after a 5.1 tremor hit the coast of Oregon and California on March 11.
Ironically, on March 11, 2011 an earthquake and tsunami in Tohoku, Japan destroyed a vast swath of coastal Japan and caused the Fukushima Nuclear Reactor disaster.
"Oregon's tectonic setting is a mirror image of Japan's," said Yumei Wang of the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries. "The Tohoku earthquake and tsunami showed us how destructive a Cascadia earthquake and tsunami could be and emphasized the need to prepare."
State officials said Thursday that residents should prepare for an earthquake or tsumani as they would any other emergency.
"A Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake could happen anytime - even during vacations," said State Geologist Vicki S. McConnell. "Plan now to be ready no matter where you are."
The state recommended the following safety tips if an earthquake should hit while someone is traveling through Oregon during spring break:
The Oregon Coast: A Cascadia earthquake will generate a tsunami, so know where high ground is and how to get there. The Oregon Tsunami Clearinghouse, www.OregonTsunami.org is a resource for all essentials, including evacuation brochures, evacuation route maps and preparedness kit checklists.
A city: If you're outside, move to an open area. Glass, bricks and other debris may fall from buildings and utility poles and wires, signs and street lights may topple. If you're inside, "drop, cover and hold on" under a study table or desk and don't go outside until the shaking stops.
The mountains: During an earthquake, move away from cliffs and steep slopes where debris may fall, or a landslide may occur. Be alert for falling rocks and trees.
Road trip: If you're driving when an earthquake hits, stop the car away from buildings, bridges, overpasses, trees and utility lines. Put your parking brake on and stay in the car until the shaking is over.
State officials suggested that residents create an emergency kit for their car that includes bottled water, high-calorie snacks, first aid kit, flashlight, road maps, emergency contact list and emergency cash.
Checklists for car, home and personal kits are available HERE.